Studying full-time and working part-time makes every day seem longer than it should be. Add in a dash of social drama and a pinch of extracurricular activities and you have the perfect recipe for a stressful schedule. So how do you deal with this crazy concoction you’ve stirred up? By coming up with your own unique work-life balance! While it is certainly easier said than done, creating that perfect balance allows you to live a healthy life where you can work hard, and play hard too.

Make a list  

Having a list of all of your activities helps you to see how packed your truly schedule is. Write everything down, from your Pumpkin Spice Latte addiction, to your weekly Zumba class. Then make a second list, this time outlining all of the habits that you either want to get rid of, or goals you want to work towards. Whether that means working out more or being able to spend more time scrolling through Instagram, write it all down. This will help to put you in the right frame of mind and lay the foundation for your balanced work-life.

Get real 

Like most things in life, you need to be realistic with yourself in order to see the best results. If your goal is to spend an hour a day exercising, but you work and study from dawn until dusk, then you should really re-evaluate. Carve out a sensible amount of time to try to achieve your goal (or work your way up to it). Either way, try to make it work with, and not around, the most significant parts of your schedule. For example, divvy up your workout into multiple little sessions to be completed throughout the day, or wake up earlier to do it all at once and jumpstart your day ahead.

Decisons, decisions

Whether you want to spend more time with your family, your squad, your dog or in your bed snoozing, it's important to have a clear idea of what your ambitions are, and how important they are for your success and happiness. To do this, choose 3-5 activities from your second list that you would like to focus more of your energy on. Then compare this list to your first one, choosing 3-5 activities linked to your goals. Make sure to jot down some notes indicating how you can free up space or move things around in your schedule to accommodate those goals. This way, you know how to tailor your schedule in order to fit everything in.

No way, Jose 

Now that you have decided what is most important to you, begin cutting out or adding in minor tasks that will help to free up your time. This means learning to say no, even when you don’t want to. While skipping a party in order to make study notes isn't very fun, it can mean the difference between having to pull an all-nighter and being able to watch (and rewatch) the newest episode of Scandal. Saying no doesn't always mean turning down an opportunity, it could actually mean saying yes to ten new ones.

Make the time  

We’ve all heard the infamous phrase “New Year, New Me.” Often we keep waiting for the perfect opportunities to start achieving a new goal. Don't wait until New Years to put it on your resolutions list or until your next vacation date to implement your new and improved schedule. Instead, make small weekly changes to your regular hectic routine. By purposefully setting time aside, really planning out beforehand, you’ll be surprised at how much time you have to do everything you want! 

Remember that you decide what kind of life that you want to live, therefore you decide where the  fun ends and the work begins. While the end goal might seem daunting right now, the steps taken  to achieve it don’t have to be. With the right attitude, time management and determination you  should be well on your way to finding the perfect balance between your work and social lives.

~Alexandra XO