There’s no doubt that your career is one of the most rewarding parts of your entire life. You work very hard, and you enjoy the fruits of all your labour. However, this can sometimes be at a cost: living in a fast-paced society means we often sacrifice our personal lives to meet deadlines and do what we need to make it through each day.
The harsh reality is that many people tend to lose sight of their goals as they try hard to keep up with everything else going on around them. If you’re one such individual, maybe now is the time to stop and think about how much you’ve lost track of what matters – YOU.
This blog will highlight some helpful tips for professionals trying to find a balance between study and work-life.
1. Create a Schedule and Prioritise.
When you’re working and studying simultaneously, it can be hard to determine how long tasks will take to complete clearly—as such, setting a schedule for yourself is essential to see what you need to do and when. This way, you won’t find yourself falling behind and becoming stressed out due to your failure to plan.
Organising your schedule means nothing if you cannot prioritise the most important activities – those items that require immediate attention before they become too complicated or problematic further down the road. You’ll also want to make sure that you prioritise things such as sleep and socialising with friends and family.
2. Make the most of your free time by working on a variety of things.
When you have some free time, don’t spend it doing nothing. Make the most of every moment by working on various things both at work and elsewhere.
If there’s something that’s been niggling away in the back of your mind for a while, take some time out to sort it. You could connect with others who are interested in what you’re interested in.
By completing this task, you will feel much better about yourself because you’ve worked towards achieving something. If you’ve grown bored with your hobbies or found yourself neglecting them recently, use up your spare time to go out and enjoy them again. It’ll be good for your overall well-being.
Spend time with your family, friends, or near ones. Although we all need some alone time to recharge our batteries and enjoy ourselves, spending too much time on your own can be very isolating and cause stress over the long term. Ensure you spend quality time every week with the people closest to you – they’ll value it more than anything.
Stress tends to compel us to push ourselves harder because we want to achieve more to feel good about what we’ve done before relaxing. However, this can sometimes backfire and result in burnout, where you become mentally exhausted and thus unable to function effectively the following day.
When you feel that this is happening or about to happen, take a timeout by closing your eyes for 10 seconds, breathing deeply and visualising what you desire such as your goals, for example. After doing so, reopen them and carry on with what you were doing but try to avoid worrying about them (it will only make matters worse).
3. Be careful about what you say ‘yes’ to.
When something comes your way, think carefully before saying ‘yes’ because once you’ve decided that you’re going to do it, there’s no turning back! You’ll need to give up something else for you to be able to fulfil the responsibility and also keep yourself on track with work etc.
It is okay if something occasionally pops up; however, just make sure it doesn’t happen too often or become a habit because this can result in negative consequences. When someone asks you whether or not they can count on you, remember that they expect a positive answer! Even if they don’t believe in doing that themselves, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
4. Switch off your smartphones or put it on silent mode when you’re studying, working etc.
It’s said that modern-day electronic gadgets are taking over our lives. However, this isn’t necessarily true as they can be beneficial, especially for studies etc. Your phone is meant to make life easier, not more complicated.
The problem with using them frequently is that we tend to get distracted easily, and before we know it, several hours have passed without us achieving anything rather than just talking to friends about random stuff. Sometimes you might need some peace, so turn off your mobile/cellphone or at least put it on silent mode when you’re doing something important. If someone calls, you either ignore them or let voicemail pick up after the third ring.
5. Get some exercise.
Exercise is vital because it improves your physical health and mental well-being. Only 20 minutes a day will go a long way towards making you feel great, and if you’re too busy for gym sessions, try walking or cycling instead. This allows you to reflect upon what you’ve been doing during the day and thus enable better sleep.
Exercise is essential if you’re studying because afterwards, your mind will be so clear that it will be effortless for you to understand new concepts without too much effort. You’ll also absorb information better than when being sedentary all the time, where thinking about anything other than sleeping becomes a highly exhausting process.
6. Be proactive, not reactive.
It’s all too easy to let different aspects of your life take control of your time and energy, but you need to remember that this is temporary – they only have power if you give them power. If something comes up which is entirely out of the blue, try not to stress about it – do whatever you can to fix the problem as soon as possible.
For example, if one of your deadlines gets moved forward by a day or two, try seeing this challenge as an opportunity for some extra studying which will make things easier for next week. That way, you’d feel in control of your life, rather than vice versa.
7. Divide and conquer, but for the right reasons.
The best way to tackle the multiple different aspects of your life is by taking things one task at a time. For example, when you are studying, it might be tempting to sit down in front of your books for an hour or two before dinner, but this can often lead to fatigue which makes it much more challenging to stay focused.
Instead, try making a list of what you need to get done over the next day or so and seeing how achievable each task is realistic. Once you’ve done this, outline exactly how long each task will take (including breaks) and then start at the top! You’ll soon see that by breaking the tasks into smaller chunks, you will be able to focus on what matters.
8. Never stop learning.
Even if you think that everything is going okay in your life right now, keep in mind that there are still things to learn which will improve how you live.
For example, if you struggle with time management, consider talking to your family or friends about what you can do differently. By making small changes like this, you start improving different aspects of your life and prevent any more extensive problems from occurring.
9. Don’t forget why you wanted to become a professional in the first place.
Although it might seem like having a successful career means constant challenges and hurdles around every corner, the reality is that becoming an adult does have its benefits. You might have to say goodbye to your mother’s home-cooked meals, but you’ll soon be able to afford your own restaurant experiences with the money you earn. Never stop being grateful for these minor things which mean so much in life.
10. Eat and Sleep Well.
Getting enough sleep and eating well are necessary to keep yourself healthy and sharp
It is essential that you get a good night’s sleep – this will allow your mind to relax and it will be easier for you to concentrate the following day.
Remember, when we’re tired, we tend to make bad decisions, resulting in us neglecting work responsibilities or even getting injured. If you struggle with sleeping, try listening to some soothing music before bed instead of watching TV, as the latter tends to be too stimulating for the brain.
It can also help if you eat small portions of food frequently instead of three big meals daily, as this allows you to maintain a constant level of energy throughout the day without draining yourself too much. Rather than reaching out for caffeine, try drinking some herbal tea instead.
The key thing to take away from this article is that we all need to remember why we wanted to become a professional in the first place – and it wasn’t so we could constantly feel pressured, stressed and anxious.
We can all agree that nowadays there seems to be more challenges than ever before but try not to forget about those small things which mean so much in life. It helps if you plan out what you’re going to do ahead of time and set achievable goals for yourself; this way, you’ll soon notice your stress levels start dropping, and nothing will seem as difficult as once thought!
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