The expression, “never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life,” is a great reminder of why you’re working in the first place. To enjoy a quality of life that makes you want to get out of bed every morning. But balancing the demands of the daily grind with the desire to actually have a life is not always an easy task. Throw in the pursuit of a better future – and that balance beam you’re perched on can start to wobble.
What’s a hard-working, sleep-deprived, dream-chaser to do? Giving up work is not an option for most people who enjoy that – good old, roof over their head, kind of life. Neither is quitting school and giving up your dream of one day – doing what you love for a living. Not to worry folks! We’re here to help you restore the balance in your manic, multi-tasking life with some great tips that will have you pulled together and ready for whatever comes next!
Make space for your space – It’s important to create a designated study area that suits your individual style. Make it comfortable, organized and think about what helps you focus. Do you concentrate better in total silence? Pick an area away from the distractions of TV or family chatter. Maybe music inspires your inner Einstein? Have a Bluetooth speaker or a pair of headphones in your study space. If you create an inviting space that optimizes learning, you’re more likely to enjoy being in it.
Work with what you’ve got – We all have traits that dictate how we navigate in our daily lives. Try to dial into what yours are and use them to your advantage. If you’ve always been a morning person, set aside time in the morning for studying – before you go to work. Let’s face it, it’s tough to turn yourself into a night owl just because you have to study for an exam. Figure out what time of day you feel the most focused and arrange your schedule to truly maximize your efforts based on your own habits.
Sleep your way through school – Ok, maybe not during school. But sleep is an important tool that is also a necessity. And while it’s tempting to replace a solid 8 hours of sleep with caffeine or high-octane energy drinks when your schedule is jam-packed – don’t do it. Studies on sleep deprivation and academic performance show that lack of sleep and even erratic sleep patterns can negatively affect not only academic performance but also mental and physical health. So, make a concerted effort to rest your body and brain and make sleep an absolute priority. (https://www.studyinternational.com/news/the-impact-of-sleep-on-academic-performance/)
Get to know your resources – If you’re struggling with a particular class, don’t think you have to struggle alone. Talk to your instructors or student services about tutoring options. You’d be amazed how much quicker it is to ask for help and get it, versus trying to tackle it by yourself. Sometimes staring at the same information for too long can make it harder to understand it. After all, it’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help. Getting someone else’s perspective is what college is all about.
Be self-absorbed – This is where the making a life mantra comes in. Yes, you have to punch the time clock and also turn in that 5-page essay. But making time for self-care in whatever form fun and relaxation take for you – is essential. Whether that’s a hike in the woods, a Thursday night bowling league or movie night once a week with your significant other – remember why you’re doing all this. It’s easy to get burned out if you don’t take a little “me-time” on a regular basis.
The most important thing you can do to balance the work-life and school equation is to keep your eye on the prize. And the prize is a better future waiting for you at the finish line. If you’re considering changing your future in an exciting new direction, check out the different programs at City College. With a ton of degree and certificate programs, and 5 campus locations to choose from, City College is a great place to start building the life you want to get out of bed for every day! Contact us today to learn more or to schedule a tour of a campus near you.