As a student, often it can be difficult juggling everything you want to make time for. Making time for lectures and seminars, uni work, time with your friends, going out, a part-time job, exercise, and any other hobby or extra-curricular activity as well as ‘me time’ can challenging. Finding a balance in your daily routine can help you feel motivated, less stressed and happier.
Plan ‘me time’ into your schedule
When you’ve got hundreds of things to do, thinking of yourself is usually the last thing on the list. But it’s important to make some time for yourself; do something you love, meditate, write in a diary, watch TV, or just relax. It doesn’t matter how you get your release, your mind and body need a rest from the non-stop day to day challenges we go through.
Minimise the time you spend on activities you don’t enjoy, or find a way to make them fun
Unfortunately, there’s no escaping these activities completely. There’s always going to be something you won’t enjoy, whether it’s a boring Saturday job or cleaning the kitchen which is starting to look like a scene from How Clean is Your House? Whatever you dislike, there’s always a way to make it better. If you’ve got a part-time job that you hate, ask if you can work less hours, or if that isn’t possible then ensure there’s always something fun waiting for you at the end of the shift. That could be a tasty meal you’ve pre-cooked, a drink with a friend or even an episode of your favourite TV show. When it comes to dull yet necessary tasks like cleaning, try to make it less of a chore and make it fun – put on some music, or drag in a housemate to keep you company.
Got multiple things to tick off your list? Try doing tasks at the same time. This can apply to many things; walk/run/cycle somewhere rather than getting the bus so you can fit in exercise, take the bin out while the kettle is boiling, make your bed while your Netflix is buffering, etc. From the big things to the little things, these multi-tasking tricks can save time for more important things on your schedule, like napping.
Get a calendar or diary
No doubt about it, these are lifesavers. Say goodbye to forgotten dates, double-booking and not remembering your best friend’s birthday. Get a calendar or diary that’s small enough to fit into your bag or pocket, and take it everywhere with you. Or use your phone as a diary; usually there’s a built in calendar, but if not free apps are available and you can even set reminders for dates and occasions.
Have a disconnection day
That’s right, no phone or technology for a whole day. Or if that’s too much of a struggle, maybe try a couple of hours. Reconnect with nature and go for a run or a walk with a friend, or perhaps go out for a drink with a friend and not bring your phone – I know that’s a difficult concept, but it IS achievable if you really put your mind to it.
Make sure there’s something to look forward to
Always plan something fun to break up the more mundane tasks. This is the reason that most of us work hard – do well in uni to get a good job, so you can spend money on doing things you enjoy. What good is hard work if there’s nothing to look forward to at the end of it? The fun things can be small or big, be it a bar of Galaxy at the end of the day, or going to a festival that you’ve been looking forward to all year.
Don’t stress it
Some days your life won’t be balanced; you may be swamped with work and don’t have time to exercise or see your friends. But it’s nothing to worry about, it just means that the other days you can act like a queen/king and feel no guilt.