Managing the Work-Life-School Balance

Find Graduate Programs
school life balance

How do you juggle all of your responsibilities without letting one or more of them suffer? And is there such a thing as the perfect school life balance?

As adults, we all have obligations. We have to go to work, pay the bills, and, in many cases, take care of our families. So how do you juggle all of these responsibilities without letting one or more of them suffer? And is there such a thing as the perfect work-life-school balance? You probably know by now that nothing is perfect! But there are some real steps that you could take to help ensure that you use your time well—and avoid burning out in the process.

Why is time management important?

Time management is the linchpin that holds together the various facets of life, ensuring that each receives the attention it deserves. Effective time management enables you to make the most out of your available time.

Balancing work, school, and personal life could be overwhelming. Proper time management could help you break down tasks into manageable chunks, reducing the stress associated with tight deadlines and a heavy workload. It could help you approach each aspect of your life with a clear and organized mindset. By prioritizing tasks and setting realistic goals, you could accomplish more in less time, increasing overall efficiency.

Unfortunately, many people simply don’t recognize the importance of time management. However, to navigate the various facets of your life, you should learn how to become a pro at it.

What are some time management tools for students?

The basics of time management involve adopting strategies and practices to prioritize tasks, allocate time effectively, and enhance overall productivity. Here are tips to help you master the art of time management:

  1. Set clear goals. Define both short-term and long-term goals, both personally and professionally. Ensure your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
  2. Prioritize tasks. Identify tasks based on their urgency and importance. Use techniques like the Eisenhower Matrix to categorize tasks into four quadrants: urgent and important, important but not urgent, urgent but not important, and neither urgent nor important.
  3. Create a to-do list. List down tasks in a to-do list, breaking them into smaller, manageable items. Prioritize tasks within the list to focus on high-priority items first.
  4. Use a calendar. Utilize a calendar to schedule appointments, deadlines, and specific time blocks for tasks. Set reminders to ensure you don’t miss important events or deadlines. If you have other members in your household, keep your calendar where everyone could see it.
  5. Set time limits. Allocate specific time limits to tasks to prevent overcommitting to a single activity. Use techniques like the Pomodoro Technique (work in focused intervals with short breaks) to enhance concentration.
  6. Learn to say no. Recognize your limits and be selective about taking on additional tasks. Politely decline requests that do not align with your priorities or goals.
  7. Delegate tasks. Delegate tasks that could be done by others, especially if they are outside your core responsibilities. Effective delegation frees up your time for tasks that require your unique skills.
  8. Batch similar tasks. Group similar tasks together and tackle them during designated time blocks. Batching tasks increases efficiency by minimizing context-switching.
  9. Continuous improvement. Continuously assess your time management strategies. Be open to adopting new tools or techniques that align with your evolving needs.

There are also a number of technological time management tools you might take advantage of.

  1. To-do lists. Simple yet powerful, to-do list apps allow users to create lists of tasks, set priorities, and check off completed items. Examples include Todoist and Microsoft To Do.
  2. Calendar apps. Calendar apps help users schedule events, set reminders, and allocate specific time slots for tasks, appointments, and deadlines. Examples include Google Calendar, Apple Calendar (pre-installed on all macOS and iOS devices), and Microsoft Outlook Calendar.
  3. Time-tracking software. Time tracking tools help you monitor how you spend your time, identify time-wasting activities, and make informed decisions to improve efficiency. Examples include Toggl, Harvest, and RescueTime.
  4. Pomodoro technique apps. Apps based on the Pomodoro Technique break work into intervals (typically 25 minutes), separated by short breaks, to boost focus and productivity. Examples include PomoDoneApp and Be Focused.
  5. Goal-setting apps. Goal-setting apps could help you define and track your short-term and long-term goals, providing motivation and a sense of accomplishment. Examples include Strides, Habitica, and Goals by KeepSolid.
  6. Focus and distraction blockers. These tools help users block distracting websites and apps during work hours to maintain focus and minimize interruptions. Examples include Freedom, Cold Turkey, and Focus@Will.
school life balance

Share This Infographic On Your Site

<a href="">Tech Tools for Time Management</a><strong>Courtesy of</strong></p><a href=""><img alt="" border="0" src="" /></a>
  • Earn your degree from a university with a “Whole Human Education” approach that focuses on assisting you in all aspects of your education: academic, emotional, career, financial, and family.
  • Choose from 75+ programs: Whether you’re starting fresh or seeking advancement, our career-focused programs are designed to help you make an impact in your chosen field.
  • National University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

How to develop good study habits?

Developing efficient—and consistent—study habits could go a long way in helping you strike a good work-life-school balance. Here are some tips for improving your study habits.

Create a study sanctuary. This should be a place that is comfortable, well-lit, quiet, and only used for study purposes. Make it known that when you’re in your study sanctuary, you shouldn’t be disturbed unless it’s an emergency. No TV—and when you’re there, you should put your phone on silent.

Use effective note-taking strategies. Develop a system for taking organized and concise notes. If you have trouble taking efficient note when you are in class, consider using a voice recorder to record the lecture and then go back and pull out the relevant information at a later date. Review and revise your notes regularly to reinforce the material.

Try some active learning techniques. Active learning is a technique in which you become directly engaged in your learning. Techniques include such as summarizing information in your own words or teaching concepts to someone else. You could also use flashcards, diagrams, or mind maps to reinforce learning.

How do I keep the right mindset?

A big part of keeping a positive—and productive—mindset starts with making time for yourself. Sometimes, you just have to allow yourself to take a breather, whether than means going for a walk, practicing yoga, or having a quick coffee with a friend. It may also be important to deal with stress head on—taking care of yourself on a regular basis could help you better manage stress better and potentially avoid it in the future. That means making sure you get enough sleep, eat healthfully, and exercise.

Finally, be realistic about your course load and what you might be able to handle given all your other responsibilities—don’t set yourself up to fail. When you are struggling, remember why you’re doing this in the first place, and let others help when and where they can. And perhaps most importantly, don’t forget to celebrate all of your successes, no matter how small they may seem. When it comes to the big picture, they mean a lot!

Discover more useful content:

Student Guide: Grad School Tips, Tricks, and Advice

More than a Mom: The Reality of Today’s Working Mother

What Students Are Saying About Online Education

The Digital Divide: What it is and How it Impacts us

Sponsored Result

Study anywhere. Study any time.

Join the millions earning their degrees online!

32.6% of graduate students were enrolled exclusively in online courses in 2019*.