If you’ve ever been a student, then you know how hard it is to achieve a balance between school and your personal life, especially as you get older.
It’s something that all students struggle with some time during their education, and it’s something that we all had to figure out.
Some students really enjoy learning and going to school, but for many of us, it’s a chore to do homework and complete the necessary study every week.
There are so many more things that we’d rather do with our time, but unfortunately, schoolwork is something that can not be avoided.
Here are some ways that can help you achieve a balance between school and your personal life.
Set either a specific day or time aside for yourself.
As a student, it’s easy to get caught up in the cycle of getting up, going to class, coming home, studying, going to bed and repeat.
After an extended period of time, this cycle can get extremely repetitive and very tiring. To keep yourself motivated throughout the term, you should set some time aside to just be with yourself. It can be very rewarding after a long day to just light some candles, play some music and soak in the bathtub.
It can be very easy to lose sight of your reasons for going to school, At this time, it’s extremely beneficial to sit with yourself and reflect on why education is so important and remember why you decided to pursue your specific degree. This way, you can re-establish your motivation for going to school and continue studying with more passion.
Try to establish a clear routine.
By establishing a routine in your day-to-day life, you can ensure that time is split evenly between your school work and your personal life.
If it helps, you can even set out a timetable to assist you in making sure that you set aside enough time for either studying or personal time, depending on which one you need control over.
Having a set schedule and a clear routine is essential to ensuring that your time is split evenly between school and your personal life. Too much of either one will make it difficult to achieve a balance.
Use a diary/planner to organise your time.
I recommend that you keep a planner to keep yourself on track if you want to have better control over your time.
If you’re stringent about time, then you can plan out your days and weeks by the hour, ensuring that you’re doing what you should be doing at a specific time.
If you’re a bit more relaxed about your time and only want to make sure that you get tasks completed, you should make a list of all the tasks that you want to be completed for a specific day, week or month, and then organise your time as you wish as long as you get the set tasks done.
Here are some popular planner options for you:
- Happy Planner by MAMBI
- Filofax Planner
- Leuchtturm1917 Notebook
- Moleskine Notebook
- Ban.do Planner
- Day Designer Planner
Use your free time productively.
It can be very tempting to spend all of your free time watching tv, reading novels, taking a nap etc., but if you could spend a little of this time doing something productive (not studying), e.g. updating your resume, looking for internships, searching for career opportunities, you could be doing the future you a big favour.
If it helps, I recommend creating a table of the productive tasks you could be doing on Microsoft Word.
You can split the tasks into school-related, career-related or any other area you want to work on, and list the tasks you want to work on underneath these headings.
You can then print this table out, stick it wherever you want, and hopefully, it will remind you to remain productive when you find yourself lazing around.
Eliminate distractions while studying.
To get the most out of your study time, eliminate any distractions so that you can perform at your best.
Putting your phone on silent and clearing your desk of any clutter are the best ways to prevent yourself from getting distracted. This way, you can get your tasks completed faster and have more time left to yourself. It’s a win-win situation.
Preventing yourself from reaching for your phone is no doubt a difficult task. I recommend downloading an app that temporarily locks your phone for the amount of time set so that you’re unable to use your phone during your designated study time.
Set a to-do list.
Setting a to-do list and breaking down larger tasks into smaller tasks makes completing an assignment or studying for a test much easier.
To best prevent distractions, it’s a good idea to write your list down on paper.
First, write out the major task you want to complete e.g. study for maths final. Then, list out the smaller tasks you need to do below it e.g. do practice papers, go over notes. You can split these tasks into as small as sections as you want but try to keep them large enough that you’re actually working towards your main goal.
By doing this, you can feel a sense of accomplishment every time you tick off a smaller task, which will make you more motivated to tick off more tasks.
Before you know it, you’ll have finished all of your smaller tasks and therefore completed one large task.
Find a study method that works for you.
I personally enjoy using the Pomodoro technique where I work for 25 minutes, take a break for 5 minutes and then repeat the cycle until I’m done with my task.
Once I’ve completed my task, I allow myself to take a longer break and do something fun that I’ve set aside for my personal time.
I use the Forest app to keep myself on track and the amazing thing about the app is that you can watch the trees grow while you’re being productive. If you’re feeling generous, you can even spend virtual coins to plant real trees on Earth.
This technique may or may not work for you. Everyone is different and only you can find the method of study where you are most productive. It’s a good idea to stick to it once you’ve found it so that you can maintain your high productivity.
Take a break when needed.
While it’s important to make sure you complete all of your schoolwork and studying, it’s even more important to ensure that you prioritise your health.
An exhausted you won’t get any more work done, especially not at a high standard. So take breaks, make sure to rejuvenate yourself and then get back to work.
While school and studying are admittedly important, it’s even more important for you to remain happy and healthy. Finding a balance between school and your personal life is very important for your health and crucial to maintaining a positive mindset.