As you begin to tackle your college coursework, you’ll soon
realize that the 3 or 4 credit hours for each class you are taking quickly
extends to 6-8 hours per week when you account for class time, study time, and
homework time. Multiply that by the
number of classes you are taking this semester and it quickly becomes 18-32+
hours each week that you spend on school. With school hours equating to a
part-time job and your full- or part-time job on your plate, you may start to
wonder how you will ever fit it in. This can get extremely overwhelming at
times, but there is a way to balance it.
Keep these tips in mind as you work your way to financial stability and
1) Schedule your week out and add blocks of time for each
task each day: Whether you use a day
scheduler or Google calendar, it is important to know at all times what you
need to accomplish for the week and how long you need to spend doing it. Staying on top of your priorities for each
part of your student-professional-home life will keep you from double-booking,
overcommitting, and under-utilizing time. Realize that a regular “routine” is
not always possible, so be sure to schedule in extra “padding time” for
2) Balance course difficulty: When you have a mentally challenging course on your schedule, off-set it
with a course that features something less taxing to you. Couple a writing-intensive course with a math
course or elective. Take your analytical
courses with creative courses so you engage different parts of your brain with
different tasks. If your industry has a particular season where business picks
up, try to take less challenging classes in school during those times.
3) Designate leisure time and unplug: Set
aside specific times during the week where you don’t do school work or career
work. Leave all devices where you receive work or school communications
behind. Spend this time with significant
others, friends, and family and do things that you want to do.
4) Take exercise and sleep seriously: Your health is extremely important at all
ages—not just when you’re older. Make
fitness and a regular sleep schedule a priority. If you don’t think you have the time or the
budget for health, fitness, and sleep, you definitely don’t have the time or
budget for doctor’s appointments, medication, and down time to treat/recover
from illnesses. Set aside time to exercise. Your health is also a lifelong
investment in yourself.
5) Learn to say “No” to lower priority items that demand
your time: A popular phrase among
our group of professional writers is, “Not tonight. I’m on a deadline.” If a
lower priority item-like meeting up
with friends that you regularly see—comes up outside of your dedicated leisure
time, say “no” to the extra stress.
By having a handle on your time, you can recharge your
batteries, carve out new boundaries, and create balance between the priorities
you are juggling.