When I attended college, I took a full course-load, worked 30-40 hours per week and was involved in a sorority that was very active in volunteer work. It was crazy hard but worth every moment. I think the key is to be present where you are. When you are in class or studying --you are learning, you aren't worried about your work schedule or your extracurriculars. Same deal for work, when I worked, I was working and not thinking about school or extracurriculars.
I sought balance many ways-no step was more important than another step:
1) Making sure my employer knew my course schedule. I made sure to complete work shifts in one segment that was after or before ALL my classes or on weekends. I didn't split shifts. I tried that and it was chaotic.
2) For my extracurriculars, I made sure I only committed to events where I could be totally committed. So if there was a sorority volunteer event that would overlap work, I would forgo that opportunity and chose something else. The sorority knew my course work load as well as the fact that I was working full time. They appreciated the fact that when I was in attendance, I was fully engaged.
3) I used a calendar to make sure I blocked of study time (individual and group) per class so I would make sure I chunked it out and avoided "cramming" for any test, paper, lab etc.
It was hard work. It helped me improve my organizational skills --which you need in any job. It also, taught me how to keep a healthy work/life balance over the years. Most importantly, it was great practice to be "present" in whatever situation I find myself.
This question resonates with me because I've spent countless hours trying to read answers that might somehow streamline my "process" or motivate me to do things. Here is the thing I've learnt. If you're happy with one of the answers (like this one) that you recieve, do not waste more time looking for what other people have to say. At the end of the day you decide how to ration your 24 hours among your various responsibilites.
Neeraj recommends the following next steps:
Hello Maria: This is an excellent question. . . When my 2 young adults were in high school and college they balanced their clubs affiliations, travel abroad, part-time work, homework, volunteerism, etc. as follows:
1) Generate a calendar (ie, wall or phone app) of all your events, activities, and work schedule
2) Review your activities 2x per day; 1x at night, and 1x in the morning to ensure nothing has changed
3) Work on activities that are rapidly coming due
4) Study between classes, free time, and when you get home (ie, log on to school sites for lessons, exercises, homework, talk to instructors, etc.)
5) Use good Time Management (ie, meaning - use your time wisely)
Good Luck to You!