Ambition with Time to Spare

Ambition with Time to Spare


You wake up in the morning, make coffee, go to school for five hours, take a bus to your part-time job, work for five hours, come home, work on assignments, eat something fast, study some more until you fall asleep beside your laptop, wake up in the middle of the night with your roommate shaking you, and crawl into bed. The next day, you do it again. Then again. And again. 


You’ve been told that the formula to success is simple: stay focused on your goals and work hard to achieve them all the time. 

The problem with this idea is that last phrase, “all the time.” 

“All the time” makes you exhausted. “All the time” leads to mistakes. “All the time” could compromise your immune system, leaving you with a cold or flu, which is your body’s way of saying, “PLEASE. NOT ALL THE TIME.” 

But if not all the time, then when? 

That’s where work-life balance comes in. Or, in the case of many students, work-life-study balance.  

What is Work-Life-Study Balance?

Work-Life-Study balance means that you enjoy your personal life while still learning a lot at school and doing a good job at work. 

Why is It Important?

Academic and work performance can actually be enhanced by taking care of yourself and scheduling some free time.  

So where do you start? 

Get a Planner

The first step is to get a notebook for planning your day or download a planning app. Make a list of everything you need to get done. Include in the list not only items related to school but also items related to your personal well-being. 

A balanced to-do list might look like this: 

  • Study for math quiz 
  • Eat chocolate cake 
  • Prepare Presentation  
  • Do Yoga 
  • Eat more chocolate cake 
  • Leave for work at 4:00 
  • Share the remaining chocolate cake with roommates  

Don’t forget that while planning your day, it is important to be realistic. Sometimes you won’t have time for yourself. Sometimes you won’t have time to do everything you want to do. If this is the case, make sure to sneak in 5 or 10 minutes of no-screen, quiet time whenever you can. It will make a big difference!  

Learn to Prioritize

Every day, take a look at your to-do list and decide what are absolutely the most important items for you to finish today. Usually, the first item is going to be related to school. But when you’re in need of some relaxation, it might be time to drag and drop “yoga” or “eat chocolate cake” to the top of the list. 

Spreadsheet programs are particularly good for prioritizing because they allow you to move items on your list around freely.  

Learn to Multitask

Finding free time for yourself often means being more productive when you’re studying or working to get things done faster. This could mean that you have to multitask. 

Multitasking is a skill that can be developed with practice. Don’t start by trying to complete ten things at the same time. Start with two! Try: 

-Cooking dinner while listening to a recorded lecture  

-Answering the phone and replying to emails at the same time 

-Work on one assignment while planning the next one

-Do push-ups or jumping jacks in between practice test questions 


If you find that you need some guidance to balance work, life, and study, email with your Student ID in the subject line. Student services is ready to offer support with wellness and health-related questions! 

To learn more about the health and wellness services available to students, visit this page.

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