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What is the best way to manage work and school with personal enjoyment? For example working out or hanging with friends. I'm asking this question because I believe its extremely important to balance work with personal enjoyment in order to live a happy and healthy life. I personally struggle with managing my time because I start to fell anxious, stressed, and overwhelmed when I start to thing about it.

work career college health #psychology#life

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John’s Answer

Nathaniel with the pressure of completing coursework, paying for school, and trying to enjoy your college experience, sometimes life can feel a little overwhelming to say the least. Between working, schoolwork, and maintaining a social life, it can seem like a daunting task to get everything done without feeling stressed, and we often have trouble maintaining a balanced schedule.

After accounting for your current responsibilities, you should have a good idea of how much to take on at school. When registering for classes, build a course load that fits your lifestyle. Create a flexible schedule that allows you to handle the unexpected, or take online courses that don't require a commute to campus. Keep in mind you'll need extra time for study and homework. No matter how well you plan, there may be times when school has to take precedence over your home or work life. Discuss this issue with family members and colleagues, and let them know how they can help you be successful. Schedule regular check-ins. Once school is in session, check in with family members and colleagues at least once each week or as much as needed. Discuss upcoming events and any schedule adjustments you might have to make. Communicating with those around you is a sure way to reduce anxiety and solve any potential scheduling challenges.

Being up-front about your schedule and student status is a good policy. If it's going to be a problem for your employer, it's better they know before you come to rely on the job. It's just not worth the effort of trying to hide something as major as the fact that you're a student. Having an employer who is understanding, or even sympathetic, of this fact is going to be useful if, say, you need to take a week off for midterms or if you'd like more hours during a break. Continue updating your weekly calendar with upcoming assignments and important dates. Organization, hard work and attention to detail will all help you perform your best. What's more, these habits might even allow you to complete schoolwork in advance of deadlines.

Hope this was helpful Nathaniel

John recommends the following next steps:

Take the time to keep a class schedule for the semester as well as any due dates for your assignments. This is a great way to make use of the calendar app on your phone. Set aside specific times throughout the week to focus on things like homework, family, and the gym. If you work in retail and have a schedule that moves around each week, it can be difficult to stay consistent with plans. If this is the case, try to design your schedule when you find out your work hours each week.
Take time for yourself. With work, family and school responsibilities, it's easy to forget about your personal needs. Try to schedule some time during the week just for yourself. In addition, consider your physical and mental health: a good diet, adequate sleep and regular exercise can help you maintain stamina for long work days and lengthy study sessions. For many adults, the key to a successful college career is balancing work, school and family obligations.
We regularly hear about the benefits of getting more sleep, from maintaining a strong immune system to improving our moods, but we seldom manage to actually implement this advice. Sometimes we get so entrenched in our work that the high amount of stress and large workload can keep us from getting enough sleep. If you really take the time to improve the quality of your sleep,your stress levels will go down and you’ll be able to think more clearly and make fewer mistakes in your work.

Thank you for your continued support Dexter. You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life. John Frick

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Dexter’s Answer

Hi Nathaniel,

I agree with all the answers previously posted here. It's really important to learn the work/life balance that works for you.

What I wanted to add to the discussion is that I highly recommend seeing a psychologist or therapist about your issues with anxiety and stress. The reason why I say this is that for me, anxiety has been something that I've struggled with my entire life, and I waited 35 years before seeing a professional about it. With the help I've received, I'm still an anxious person, but I can deal with it in a way where it does not overwhelm me. These professionals can give you tips and ways to break overwhelming problems into little bits to help you digest it.

I wish you well on your career journey, Nathaniel!

--
Dexter
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Harshini’s Answer

In my experience, it takes time to learn how to properly balance your personal life and your education. You need to learn what works best for you and what type of balance works for you. For example, some people need to spend a lot more time studying in order to be successful in school or colleges. However, others people can study for an hour and then relax for 5 and still do really well on a test. It all comes down to what type of person you are and how you work. You should experiment with different times spent on each to see what works best for you. Just remember that is it equally important to relax and spend time with friends and family as it is to study and work.
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Sanober’s Answer

Hi Nathaniel!

What a great question, and very wise on your part for thinking ahead about how to manage anxiety and stress. Regardless of what year you are in school, it's so important to find a balance between everything in your life to prevent burnout. I have learned that it is best to prioritize your mental health into your daily schedule, just as you block out time for a class or writing a paper. I'm a schedule type of person, so I like to put a time block in for what I want to achieve every day. For example, if you want to stop engaging in school work at a certain time, and you plan to go for a walk to clear your head, at 5 pm write that in your schedule: go for a walk, listen to a podcast, call a friend. That way, you have that time to look forward to once you finish your schoolwork. Schedule in mini-breaks between your day to unwind, for even just 5 minutes, you will feel a little difference in your mental state when you return to doing schoolwork. Don't ever feel ashamed for wanting to put yourself first and take care of your mind.

Hope this helps :)

Sanober
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Vani’s Answer

Time management is key! I'm currently a college student taking 18 credits and juggling 2 jobs. Trust me it's difficult, not going to try and sugar coat that, but it's also not impossible! Calendars will become your best friend. I know many don't want to become "that" person but I have found it super helpful to add even planned friend events to my calendar. This ensures that I do not overbook myself with work over my friend time.

Other than calendars, to-do lists are also very useful. I also deal with a lot of anxiety and find lists super relieving, I'll explain. In my personal experience, I tend to get overwhelmed towards the end of the night if I still have things left to do. I'll lay in bed just thinking "I need to do this tomorrow, and I hope I don't forget that other thing that's due in a couple of days." Taking the time to write out these things that you have to do or even any thoughts you may be having at the time is really helpful.

Setting "focus" times in your calendar can help boost your productivity. I'm a HUGE procrastinator. I tend to sit down to "work" on an assignment or work project and sometimes I find myself either zoning out or getting lost on tik tok and social media. Set up 2-hour blocks (or whatever fits your schedule best) where you put your phone away, get rid of any distractions, and just focus on the thing you need to get done. Some things that help me when I do this is putting on some instrumental background music (I usually go for Lo-Fi beats) and light a candle, even having a snack next to you helps. I recommend setting up 2-3 focus times during your week to start out and then see for yourself if you'd need more of these blocks or even less.

Don't forget about yourself! I know it's easy to lose yourself between work, friends, family, and school. Just know that your own well-being is the foundation for being able to take care of all those other things. If meditating isn't for you, taking some time to do some stretches in the morning or throughout the day. Also, the most important thing, STAY HYDRATED! It's mindblowing how much staying hydrated can help you with your energy. Make a routine where you treat yourself from time to time. It could be watching a movie, painting, coloring, having a spa night, cooking or baking something you love, or maybe experimenting for the first time. I have gotten myself into the plant world for my self-care. I bought a few little indoor plants for my apartment to keep me busy. It's sort of motivating in the mornings to have them because though some days it's hard to get up for myself, I get up to water my plants or just check up on how they're doing today.

Vani recommends the following next steps:

Use a calendar
Make a weekly or even daily to do list.
Set "focus" times throughout the week.
Stay hydrated
Don't forget about your own self-care!
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Blake’s Answer

David,

Often, work takes precedence over everything else in our lives. Our passion to succeed professionally can push us to set aside our own well-being. One thing to always have is the correct balance between the two. Everybody will want to say that there is a perfect schedule to balance the both but in reality that isn't the case. When setting a schedule for balancing the two I like to be realistic. Prioritize your health, find a career you love so work seems less of a stress and when you feel stress set aside some time to just completely 'un-plug' from the world and focus on yourself. Set aside certain goals and 'life' balance goals that you can achieve each week. Work will always be a huge part of your life but find ways to disconnect from it and take your mind off of it. In the end of things, life is short, enjoy good company and make sure you keep a good life balance in order to stay happy. I find setting goals that only revolve around the life aspect each week really help ensure I have the correct balance. Hope this helps!
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Simeon’s Answer

The most important word here is "no". You'll wear yourself thin if you don't start saying "no" to some of the things you could do. If I were you, I'd set aside some time somewhere where I could relax and think. I'd write down all the things I wanted to do in the coming week and rank them based on how important they are to you, maybe also writing how much time each thing takes (don't forget "sleep"). Then, if something ranks low or takes up more time than it's worth to you, take it out of your weekly schedule. And if something threatens a highly ranked item, remove it as well even if it's not a large time commitment. If you're aggressive in weeding out your schedule, you can find room to breathe. And if there's not enough time for all the things that matter most, I'd start asking hard questions about restructuring my life in bigger more drastic ways. Also, just as important, try to set aside a few minutes once a week to reflect back on how well you were able to defend your priorities and if it played out as you hoped it might.
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Edgie’s Answer

Hi Nathaniel!

Sometimes we really get frustrated when we want to have some relax time or hang out with our love ones but we have work to do. Just remember that having a "me time" or hanging out with your friends or family doesn't have to be going to a 3 days vacation or a fancy dinner. Catching up with them with a coffee time in the afternoon for like an hour or two, or maybe as we still living in a pandemic world you could have group videocall sharing stories to each other what happen to you for the last couple of weeks or days. It is the simple things that counts. Like me and my friends that i have friends who are living in the other country we usually set a time and day in a month where we could catch up in a videocall for 30minutes or 1 hour.

For school work, i may advised that of you could finish tasks, assignements as soon as possible, do it. It is better to be proactive than cramming.


I hope this helps and all the best for you! I know you are going to be amazing :)
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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Nathaniel! As a student who is pursuing medicine and who has worked 3 jobs, I definitely know what it means to not always be able to hang out with friends or do activities you love. I think it's definitely important to make sure you keep work and school in check such as having a planner and completing assignments . This really matters; it can be hard to say no to your friends sometimes but if you have a lot of work to do it is a sacrifice at times. However, it doesn't mean you won't ever get to hang out; organize your time for example if you study during the week a lot and have free time on the weekends then maybe spare time then. Also, during breaks my friends and I would find more time to hang out like winter break or spring break in addition we always keep in touch with messages, Skype or FaceTime, especially nowadays! I also love to workout , read and practice my violin so I definitely know how stressful it can be when you don't have time for the things you love. I think it's important no matter what to spare at least a little bit of time from your studying. For example even though my junior year especially with Organic Chemistry was stressful, I still committed to going to the gym; I think it would actually help me as well to release stress and find free time to myself. In addition if you have friends who are taking similar classes as you, maybe you can study with them and get schoolwork completed; some of my close friends would hang out by studying together, we would take breaks and catch up but stay committed to our work! Lastly, always be organized; it really is key, know what you want to complete that day and get it done! Without being organized it might seem like you try to do everything at once and can't really focus and get work done. Also from my experience sometimes you will have times where work and classes can come first especially during exams, unfortunately it may be difficult to find time to do the things you love that week or even month but remember to make note that once the stress is over you will find some time to yourself! Mental health is just as important as all your other priorities!

I hope this helps!
I wish you the best!
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Krystal’s Answer

Hi Nathaniel!
I think that is a great question and something that is important for the rest of your life so I think that trying to get a hand of it now is very important. I learned for myself the best thing is to set a timer on my phone. So I will work on school work with no interruptions for 1 hour (or whatever time limit you think is best), once that timer goes off I can then take a certain amount of time to work on something else that I need to do. For me knowing there is a time limit and I don't feel like I am going to be doing something for forever helps me to stay focused on the one task in order to get it completed. I think it is important to find what works best for you. Trying a few different ideas will help you narrow down how best for you to make sure to complete everything that needs to be done will still enjoying yourself and making sure to put your mental health at the top of the list.
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David’s Answer

Hi Nathaniel!

Great question! It's a struggle everyone will encounter and it only gets worse as you get older. I'd say the first step is to clearly identify what your priorities are and why. The why is the key, because if it's not important for you then you won't sustain making time for it. Once you have your list the next step would be to monitor your time management daily for 2 weeks - you will be absolutely shocked at how much time you waste on your phone (social media, texting, etc.) or doing things that are not on your priority list. Lastly, be strict but flexible. When building out your time management, be flexible on building in some relaxing down time or time to catch up on messages/social media, but be strict to keep those activities only within your prescribed time. Hope this helps!
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Laura’s Answer

Hi Nathaniel, that is a great question to ask. It can be stressful and difficult to manage a personal and school life. My recommendation would be to keep an updated calendar or planner. I have a planner that is such a lifesaver, I write down my weekly responsibilities along with what plans I have made each week. It keeps me honest and I am able to set some time aside for myself to relax or do the things that I want to do. More often than not, a lot of people try to stretch themselves thin so that they are able to do everything that everyone asks of them. I believe it is best to make your happiness a priority and to do things that you enjoy. Try not to stretch yourself too thin and make sure to have some personal or "me" time each week to reset :)

I wish you the best!
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Jaycee’s Answer

Hi Nathaniel!

You are not alone. I think this is one of those common struggles for all people. First, always remember that taking time to enjoy free time and relax is crucial for being happy in your professional life.

- Make a schedule to manage your time. Be sure to build mental breaks and opportunities to get away from your work for a few minutes
- Give yourself at least one day of rest where you're not committed to doing anything.
- Remember that you did the most you could during your days and be proud of your hard work!

Hope these little tips help!

Jaycee
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Kevyn’s Answer

Hi Nathaniel, I love this other answers!

Here's a short summary of what I would add to the other advice here:

1. Learn to meditate. There are a lot of benefits to meditation but the two that I would highlight here are the stress reduction benefits and the improving your ability to handle adverse situations better. Meditation is a journey, you'll always be "practicing" it, so don't view it as something you do one and done.

2. Read and practice the Stoics. Stoic philosophy has been around for ages and what you start to learn with your reading and practice is the reality that most things in life that you stress out about...aren't worthy of the mental anguish it causes you. Kinda deep I know, but worth trying!

3. Learn to prioritize and plan your day. There are TONS of books and courses on time management, so you'll have to be willing to experiment and explore but in the end, they all center around the fact that you have a limited amount of time AND ENERGY - so there's only so much you can do each day. You'll have to practice figuring out what you WON'T do - so that you can leave time and energy for what you WILL do.

Don't be afraid to explore and experiment - some things that work for others just won't resonate with you and you'll have to find something else - and that's OK!

Kevyn recommends the following next steps:

Take a look at the Headspace app and learn about meditation
Look up the book "A Handbook For New Stoics" and/or the "Daily Stoic" website and learn about Stoic philosophy
Consider looking at the "Bullet Journal" method for time (self) management
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