fbpx
Balancing studies and life blog cover with portrait of author, Logan Mac Maneveldt
5
(17)

How do you balance studies and life, especially when you are working full-time, have a household to run, and have social responsibilities? Life can become very overwhelming, very quickly.

So, how does one do it?

This is a question that has plagued me for many years. Truthfully? There are no shortcuts or a Holy Grail formula that will balance everything in one fell swoop.

But, the good news is, it is possible! It is indeed very possible to have a balanced life when it comes to your education, career, and your relationships with loved ones. The solution for me is a combination between time management, staying focused, communication and self-care.

It is not entirely as simple as “1-2-3”. That is why I thought I would share some helpful tips to strike that balance with your relationships, work and academic endeavours.

Organise your time to balance studies and life

You may have heard the phrase that time waits for no one. And it is true. Time will move on, even if you don’t. I truly feel we could start respecting time more. How we spend our time is very important.

Improving time management is at the very core of balancing your studies with life. Consider this: by refining how you manage your time, you can carve out moments for relaxation amidst hectic study sessions and work commitments, ensuring you’re not just productive, but also well-rested.

A schedule is not merely about cramming every moment with activities but about strategic planning that aligns with your priorities, ensuring you’re focusing on the right thing at the right time. For instance, by allocating specific time slots to your studies, work, and personal life, you’re able to engage fully in each activity without the guilt that you should be doing something else.

Additionally, including focused rest periods in your schedule is crucial. It’s the buffer that keeps you from burning out. Imagine having a clear schedule where you know exactly when your next break is; it makes the work or study session ahead far more palatable.

Effective time management also means becoming keenly aware of how you spend your time daily. Small adjustments, such as limiting social media browsing or streamlining household chores, can free up significant pockets of time. Remember, the essence of time management in the context of balancing studies and life isn’t just about doing more—it’s about doing what matters most to you, efficiently and with purpose.

PRO TIP: Stay Focused

Being mindful of how you spend your time is crucial if you want to make the most of each day. Reduce the number of external distractions to assist in establishing a more conducive learning environment. Social media and apps such as TikTok can become very distracting and consume a lot of time.

Communicate your study balance goals

Building on good time management, effective communication becomes another critical pillar in achieving that delicate balance between studies and life. This involves not only communicating your needs and schedules with those around you but also actively listening to theirs. By doing so, you create a mutual understanding and can avoid conflicts that might arise from mismatched expectations.

Open communication with family, friends, and even your employers about your study commitments and deadlines can help them understand your time constraints and support you accordingly. For instance, if you have a major exam coming up, letting your loved ones know about your need for undisturbed study time can help them provide you the space and quiet you require. Similarly, employers may offer more flexibility with your work hours if they’re aware of your academic pursuits and deadlines.

It’s also important to communicate with your educational institution. Many are more than willing to provide advice or adjustments to help balance your workload. Whether it’s negotiating deadlines or accessing resources, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Remember, effective communication is a two-way street that involves expressing your own needs while being receptive and understanding to the needs of others. This mutual respect and understanding can significantly lighten the load, making it easier to juggle the demands of studying and living a full, engaging life.

PRO TIP: Communicate your Calendar

Sharing your schedule with those close to you can inclusively align everyone towards your goals.

Self-care because you care about balancing life

Incorporating self-care into your schedule is a strategic move towards achieving a balance between your studies and personal life. Remember, it’s not about allocating every minute of your day to tasks but rather ensuring those tasks contribute positively to your well-being. By prioritizing healthy habits like regular exercise and a balanced diet, you’re not just boosting your physical health, but you’re also enhancing your mental capacity. This holistic approach to self-care ensures you’re in the best possible state to tackle both academic challenges and life’s daily demands. Think of it as ensuring that you have the energy and focus required to meet your goals, and stick to your schedule.

I found reading Elzaan’s blog about healthy eating and Fahima’s article about self-care to have been a true motivational piece and I highly recommend you read them.

https://www.bmtcollege.ac.za/2023/12/14/a-season-of-self-care/

https://www.bmtcollege.ac.za/2024/02/01/fuelling-success-eating-smart-and-thinking-smarter/

Find support for your study goals

One thing you should also know is that you are not alone. Finding support in your studies and work can play a huge role in balancing your studies with your life. Having people around you who can help motivate you and encourage is a huge benefit.

Connecting with others doing the same course or with similar interests helps in sharing ideas and solutions to problems. If you are a registered BMT College Student, then join our dedicated Student Support group on Facebook :

https://www.facebook.com/groups/BMTStudents

PRO TIP: Get your family involved.

Get your family involved in your studies. I like to role-play what I learned with my family. For instance, if I just happened to learn about budgeting, I will try to teach my family about the principles or concepts of budgeting. In this way, I end up understanding my work even better while spending some quality time with my family. Talk about killing two birds with one stone!

Balance your studies and life with a break

Finally, remember to relax. Chill. Take a break. Many people often overlook the importance of resting. It is crucial to pause regularly and partake in relaxing and rejuvenating activities. Include enjoyable activities in your daily routine, such as physical activity, hobbies, reading, spending time with loved ones, or engaging in mindfulness techniques. This helps to lower tension and aggravation while promoting a healthy balance between your studies, work and life.

Our very own, Deputy Head of Academics, Mrs Jackie Brand has put together an immaculate article about slowing down. Take your time and be inspired.

https://www.bmtcollege.ac.za/2023/11/30/finding-your-rhythm-by-slowing-down/

Final thought:

In conclusion, achieving a balanced life amidst the demands of studying and personal commitments is a comprehensive process that necessitates effective time management, open communication, diligent self-care, and the support of those around us. By reducing distractions, keeping lines of communication open with all stakeholders, and incorporating essential self-care practices, we lay a solid foundation for success.

Remember, support systems play a pivotal role; thus, connecting with peers and engaging family in your academic journey can amplify your efforts. Above all, recognising the importance of breaks and leisure activities is essential for maintaining mental and emotional well-being. This holistic approach not only ensures academic success but also enriches our personal lives, allowing us to thrive in all aspects. The journey towards balancing study and life might be challenging, but with the right strategies and support, it’s entirely achievable.

At BMT College, we’re committed to supporting our students every step of the way. Here’s to finding your unique balance and excelling both academically and personally!

Sources of Inspiration

Boyles, M. (2023, April 25). How to balance work & school: 7 strategies. Harvard Business School Online. https://online.hbs.edu/blog/post/how-to-balance-work-and-school

Cohen, I. S. (2021, April 23). What it really means to take care of yourself. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-emotional-meter/202104/what-it-really-means-take-care-yourself

Logsdon, A. (2023, October 28). Time management for working students. Very well Mind. https://www.verywellmind.com/time-management-tips-for-working-students-2161979

Kate, G. (2022, November 22). Why It’s Important to Surround Yourself with Positive People. The Goal Chaser: https://thegoalchaser.com/surround-yourself-with-positive-people/

Cohen, J. (2018, December 4). Surrounding Yourself With The Right People Changes Everything. Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jennifercohen/2018/12/04/surrounding-yourself-with-the-right-people-changes-everything/?sh=6fbea9bb7d09

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 17

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

You might also enjoy: