How to Manage the Study, Work, Life Balance

As a newly wed part time doctoral student working three jobs, I feel I’m equipped to talk briefly on this topic. Your study life will take up a massive amount of your time with essays, exams, class time and reading. As will your working life, high expectations met with high demands may be common place in your working environment, requiring a lot of focus and dedication.

So where does your real life fit in? It can be so hard to juggle all three parts of your life, but it’s a juggling act you need to perfect if you are to get the most out of all three.

I hope these points in how to better manage your study, work life balance will make things easier and clearer for you.

FOR STUDY:

  • Having a weekly schedule of time slots each day that you designate for your studies, and stick to, is vital!
  • If you have a free 3 hours on Monday morning then make a note in your diary or on your phone that this is your study time! Perhaps you have a day or two a week where you are not in classes or working, ensure you designate this time to study and get the most done you possibly can.
  • Having a set of weekly goals is something I have found keeps me motivated to push myself during my study slots. With a goal in mind for the end of the week, I feel my risk of distraction dramatically reduces and my sense of accomplishment increases when I meet those goals.
  • Get up early and study. This might have been hard for you to hear, but it works. If you can get an hour or two in before you start work then you are on to a winner.

FOR WORK:

  • Be as productive as you can be.
  • The very last thing you want is to be stressed out during your week that you haven’t met deadlines, or done the best job possible when you are studying.
  • Don’t forget! Your studies are very important, and may even be more important to you than the job you are doing. For many of us though, you need your job in order to keep studying. Don’t forget this!

FOR LIFE:

  • One night a week, my wife and I designate time for either pizza night (if we’re broke and want to stay in), or date night where we go out with a few friends or have a few drinks.
  • If I feel I can manage it and am ahead with my studies then we might take the night off and watch a movie, or go for a walk. If you have the free time and you feel on top of your work then the best way you can use that time if with those closest to you.
  • You’ll come to realise that designating time is vital to managing this juggling act of study and work. The same goes for your personal life. Set time aside with your partner of friends and try and forget about both work and study for that time.
  • Self-care is vital and without it, your study life and work life could be negatively affected.

All three parts of your life, your studies, your work and your personal life are all connected, they all also need each other in order for you to keep the juggling act alive. Designating time, planning in advance and appreciating that in that moment what ever you are focussing on needs your undivided attention, will help with the process.

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