Whether you are focused on building your CV, looking to broaden your social circle or just trying to stay financially afloat in one of the priciest cities in North America, a job is a valuable asset to student life. Though juggling employment and school commitments is no easy task, there are many tips and tricks to help you find the perfect school-work-life balance.
Make a schedule and stick to it
Obviously, discipline is critical, but so is being kind to yourself. Keep in mind that balancing work and school is hard and fumbles are a natural part of learning to maintain multiple commitments. Organizing your day into time blocks can help you visualize what you need to do and when you will get it done. Chipping away at a larger task for a few hours each day can make even the most daunting assignments more bearable and can help prevent procrastination.
Become besties with your agenda
An easy way to successfully juggle multiple differ- ent things is to put everything in one place. Be it a physical planner or a Google Calendar, keeping your academic deadlines, scheduled work shifts and general tasks in one easy-to-access spot will help you maintain a sense of control.
Start on the first day of class — the moment that sweet syllabus touches your hand, take note of every test date, deadline and office hour period.
Want to embrace your inner child and get organized? Combine scrapbooking and custom agenda-making! In a blank journal, write out your hour-to-hour schedules on one half of the page and include space for your daily to-do’s on the other side. From there, add some doodles, stickers, affirmations or whatever suits your fancy. This not only helps you visualize your day in a fun way but also gives you a little bit of time to unwind.
Asking yourself whether work or school should be prioritized is an existential debate. However, learning how to decisively select the tasks that are worthiest of your time is a valuable life skill.
Keeping track of due dates and not letting them sneak up on you is essential to ensure your schoolwork gets done. It is helpful to think of this balancing act as a puzzle; first, take note of the time that will be dedicated to working, then see where you can fit in your schoolwork. This will take some trial and error but eventually you’ll find something that works for you.
Perfectly balanced — as all things should be
Balancing work and school should never be your end goal; rather, you should aim to balance work, school and some semblance of a life. That can mean setting aside time for hobbies, friends or simply doing nothing. Sure, you can take advantage of Google Calendar and craft a colour-coded agenda to make you the envy of your Type-A peers, but eventually you’ll run out of fuel.
The wise words of a student newspaper not enough to get you to take it easy? Experts in neuroscience argue that downtime is essential for creativity and optimal brain health, while overworking can lead to burnout. So put the cue cards down, dammit, order some SkipTheDishes and give yourself a night off — you most certainly deserve it.