5 Methods for Managing Work-Life-School Balance

Kaitlyn HamiltonNews

The stress of balancing work, school and life can be difficult to manage and negatively affect your overall success and mental health. Finding a good balance between work, school and life can lead to positive changes personally, academically and professionally. 

As a student in the Grace Pilot School of Business at the University of Mobile, there are so many opportunities that compete for your time and it can sometimes be difficult trying to juggle your job, health, schoolwork and personal relationships. Here are tips to help you find a good sustainable balance between work, school and life. 

1. Be Organized 

Any student who has taken one of Professor Nick Cillos’ classes on management and organization knows that one way to stay organized is to make a schedule. Dedicate blocks of time to your job, schoolwork and relationships. 

Blocking your time is beneficial because you have set a specified time to focus and complete tasks. It is recommended to do this weekly to stay ahead of your tasks. By creating this schedule, you are pre-planning the activities you need to get done and preventing yourself from procrastinating. You will start to notice which tasks take shorter or longer to complete, adjusting your schedule and finding what works for you. 

Creating a list of priorities is also beneficial to staying organized, regularly updating it so that you don’t get overwhelmed. Also block time for hobbies as well, take up a non-academic book, go for lunch with friends or take a walk outside.

2. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Maintaining your physical health is essential in order to do your best work. You can start by getting at least seven hours of sleep each night. Although that may be a lot to ask of a working student, you can still incorporate at least 30 minutes of physical activity once a day and maintain a healthy diet. 

Dr. Kathy Dunning, dean of the Grace Pilot School of Business, says that making measurable goals is effective in ensuring you are making progress. Something as simple as doing a plank every day and adding a second each day will get you started on the right path.

3. Take Breaks 

Taking breaks is a good way to prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed. Be sure to rest mentally, physically and emotionally. 

Physical rest consist of activities like sleeping, stretching, or any activity that keeps the body relaxed. 

Mental rest consists of activities that keep you in the moment like drawing, cooking, meditating and music/dancing. 

Emotional rest consists of writing down your thoughts, expressing emotions or anything that is therapeutic. 

4. Set Limits 

As hard as you try, you cannot do everything. Don’t take on more tasks than you can handle. Avoid taking on new responsibilities by politely declining and saying “no.”

Although you may miss out on some opportunities, staying focused on your top priorities will help you to accomplish your tasks more efficiently and quickly. Any professor will tell you that time management is important. Taking on more than you can handle because is counterproductive and straining. 

5. Ask for Help 

Ask for help when you need it. Don’t try to do everything on your own. 

Ask your coworkers if they can do you a favor and switch shifts or assist with larger projects. The same goes for classmates – ask if they could help you with something you are struggling with. 

Most importantly, seek help or guidance from a mental health professional if you are ever overwhelmed or unable to deal with issues in your life. The Student Success Center at the University of Mobile provides tutors and counseling resources for UM students, as well as time management skills and career guidance.

Professors in the Grace Pilot School of Business, as well as all our professors at the University of Mobile, are understanding and will work with you to make sure you succeed. They want the best for you and will do everything that they can to help. Asking for help will always benefit you!