By Lily Fang
With the HSC right around the corner, I thought it would be a great idea to pass on some tips to you hardworking students on how to balance work commitments, study and life in general. This article isn’t just meant for highschool students, but can really apply to anyone. Life after studying in highschool and university can be pretty demanding, so I hope some or all of these tips will be useful for you.
“Sorry, I just don’t have the time.”
How many times have we used or heard this line? Sometimes it’s hard to balance all aspects of your life properly. Work, relationships and studies can easily take up all your time without leaving much space for other important things in life. Let’s face it—if we had more than 24 hours in a day, surely we would get more stuff done. But the reality is, we don’t. Now where does that leave us with all the more meaningful things? What about family, friends, health, pets and me-time?
Once you find out where you spend all your time on a day-to-day basis, you’ll find you’re able to allocate more time for your priorities. Not only will this make you a more productive person, but doing will help you determine inefficient, time and energy draining activities that have no place in your life.
So how do I know where I spend my time?
Start by mapping out your daily schedule. Start at 24 hours, then say you get 6-8 hours of sleep (if you’re lucky). Now you are left with 16-18 hours. Continue this process with the rest of your day. Work or classes can be around 8 hours, meals are an hour or so each, travelling is an hour each way, and so on. Don’t forget to schedule in some down time; we’re not robots and we all need a break.
When you reach the final number, make a list of things that are important to you and what you should prioritise. Allocate that spare time to these things, and give reasonable times for them. As you review your schedule, see what is wasting your time and cut it out from your day. Alternatively, you can modify tasks to make them more efficient if needed.
There are more ways you can be efficient with your time too.
- Use a diary or planner. This will help with the continuous mapping of your time. You can also jot down important tasks so you won’t forget. It’s also easier to see your free time and to view your days/weeks/months as a whole.
- Organise your to-do lists. To-do lists are great for productivity, but they can be even more efficient if you organise your tasks. You can order each task in order of importance, difficulty, or time it takes to complete it. Either way you decide to organise your list, be consistent and customise it to your needs.
- Time yourself. When tackling a menial, simple to-do list (like housework, cleaning, errands), try to limit each task to 5 or 10 minutes. Once the time is up, move on to the next task. This can help you get more done quickly, as you will be racing against the clock to finish the task within the time limit.
- Make sure to schedule some time for relaxation. If you’re stressed out you may not be able to complete tasks efficiently. Taking short 5-10 minute breaks in between tasks can help you to stay focused and productive. Regular exercise can also help with stress relief and relaxation.
- Stay healthy. Eating well, sleeping well and exercising regularly will help keep your mind and body in tip top condition so that you can stay on track with your goals and tasks without slowing down.
Being able to balance your time in any aspect of your life is tough. With a bit of practice and consistency, anything is possible. Remember to keep it simple—you’ll be alright!
Image Credit: http://www.studymyway.com/sites/default/files/Work%20life%20balance.jpg