Whether you’re a student who just got a new job or an employee trying to get back into academic life, balancing study and work is never a piece of cake. Going through everything mindlessly with minimum effort will only get you so far before you crash and burn out. To avoid that, try these six tips we’ve curated for you to maintain every aspect of your life well and balanced.

Plan your game ahead

When you have three main parts of your life that you have to juggle, the first thing you should do is set up a plan. Ideally, you need to do this when either study or work becomes a new part of your routine. Look at your work shifts or courses syllabi and mark unnegotiable dates. That way, you can integrate the new activity into your agenda.

Once you’ve done this, you can continue to plan out each month, week, and day. For example, you can use your laptop to create a spreadsheet of the thorough plan for the upcoming months. Yes, things might not always go our way, but a bad plan is still better than none. Just make your best effort to manage your time and hope for the best.

Multitasking is not your friend

Having a lot of tasks on your to-do list can be overwhelming. You just want to get rid of them as soon as you possibly can. When you feel that way, the temptation to do multiple tasks at once will arise. You need to stop yourself right there before you’re trapped in the multitasking circle.

While it might seem like a good thing, multitasking is actually counterproductive. Instead of getting more things done, multitasking only makes you do things with less than 100% effort. So, always try your best to focus on one thing before jumping to another. As the saying goes: good things take time.

Stick to a schedule

As previously mentioned, having a detailed schedule for each day and week is crucial. This is to protect you from the illusion of being too busy or having too much free time. Scheduling helps you remember what you need to do at each moment. Yet, there’s something way more important than merely remembering your schedule: sticking to it.

It’s easier said than done, and that’s understandable; it takes a lot of effort and willpower. But remember, once you get the hang of following your schedule, it becomes easier. Maintaining a balance between studying, working, and personal life doesn’t seem impossible anymore. To do this, always keep your schedule accessible on your mobile phone, and try to fight any incoming distractions.

Have a scheduled time off

It’s good to be busy doing things here and there. You might feel proud of using your time effectively. However, excessive anything can be unhealthy—being so busy to the point where you have no time for yourself isn’t ideal. Take a break from all your errands without ruining your life by scheduling your time off.

Adding to that, since multitasking should be avoided, you need to be mindful and focused during your time off. Dedicate a day each week only for you to take care of yourself. Stay away from your phone to avoid work or school notifications and engage in activities you want to do. That’s the least you can do to keep your sanity.

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Know when to say “no”

When you keep a healthy connection with your social circle, they might feel more comfortable in asking you for favors. Different people can ask you to help with different things, and you might feel compelled to grant their wish. Nevertheless, always remember to keep it below a limit. It’s not a good thing to overprioritize others above your own needs.

Learn how to say no to avoid burning yourself out from overhelping people. It might be extremely hard for some people, but it’s really a skill worth learning. When asked for a favor, ask yourself first whether you have the time, capability, and energy to do it. If not, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and say no—it’s better than a fake ‘yes.’

Look after yourself

You can read a thousand tricks and strategies for balancing every aspect of your life. Yet all that wouldn’t matter if you didn’t have the most important thing: health. You can have a tight schedule full of activities, but don’t forget to look after yourself. The simplest ways to do it are eating properly and getting enough rest.

You can start by keeping your mealtimes on a schedule. Having a regular eating schedule will keep your energy level stable and your mind focused. Top that off by getting enough rest every day. Sleeping for 7 to 8 hours is a good way to keep your body fit and healthy.