Updated: Aug 26
Having a routine is not as robotic as planning everything that you need to do right down to the second. Routines can be flexible, and are most successful when you adapt them to your wants and needs.
Student life is STRESSFUL and often feels 24/7. This leaves little time for you to spend on yourself and a lot more time for stress to make its way into your life. Developing and implementing a routine that enables you to spend the amount of time that you want to spend studying and the amount of time that you want to spend unwinding, is a great way to alleviate this stress. Here are 7 tips to help you develop and implement a balanced routine:
1. Adapt your routine to you and your wants/needs
Do not dedicate time to meditation and affirmations if you get nothing from them! When planning your 'me time,' you have to make time for things that motivate you and make you feel good, otherwise, you are not going to be inspired to follow through with them. Does watching Netflix make you feel better and motivated? If yes, then this is what you need to prioritise when having your 'me time'. Do not spend your valuable time on something that is not for you and will not benefit you.
2. Try to keep school work within the constraints of a 9-5
It is beneficial to treat your schoolwork like a 9-5 (or 10-6, 11-7, etc.). Decide which hours you work best with and try to only do school work within this timeframe. This is essentially 'leaving work at work', something that students do not quite have the luxury of. Following this tip can give you an evening off so that you can dedicate time to yourself rather than your work (which is alien to us students).
3. Dedicate one day for household errands
One of the weights that many students have to bear is independence. This often means that you no longer have a wash basket that you can throw your dirty clothes into and have them magically show up clean, folded, and laid out on your bed. You need to find a time that is best to get your hefty house chores done. This will help you organise your time more efficiently during the rest of your week, as these tasks will not be getting in your way or looming over you. Just pick one day to get most if not all of them out of the way, and then you will be free of chores for the next week!
4. Try time-blocking
When organising your daily work routine, you might want to try out time-blocking, which involves dedicating set timeslots to different tasks that you need to do for school. This particularly comes in handy when trying to get some of your less pressing tasks done. Most of the time, tasks like essential readings, further readings, revisions, etc. get pushed to the bottom of your to-do list, and sometimes, are never even started. By having a timeslot each week dedicated to tasks like these, you may be more inclined to address some of them. These sorts of tasks are never quite 'completed' on your to-do list and may make your list feel never-ending, so, dedicating time to spend on each of these tasks can help you tackle your to-do list.
5. Plan your tasks
A balanced work/life routine requires some level of planning. In school, no week is the same, so being aware of what is due and when is all the more important. It may take just 20 minutes to write a list of tasks that need to be completed in a week. So, why not try to tackle this on a Friday evening or Monday morning? This way, you can effectively plan out when you want to work on these tasks, and break down your tasks, so that you can work on them gradually throughout the week rather than all at once.
6. Switch off on the weekends
This is similar to making sure that you give yourself evenings off. You are not superhuman, you need to recharge and take significant blocks of time off. This does not mean simply doing less work, because even if you choose to do less work instead of taking time off, doing any work at all can give you the illusion of not having any time off at all. If you develop and implement your routine following the previous tips, this should mean that your work will not get out of hand and that you can 'afford' to take time off.
7. Do not punish yourself for going off schedule
We are human, which means that we sometimes require flexibility. When you are unable to complete certain parts of your routine or are unable to achieve a work/life balance, try to give yourself time to get back on track instead of being hard on yourself.
Incorporating even one of these tips when organising a school routine can hopefully send you on your way to achieving a work/life balance. Start by asking yourself what you find fulfilling, as this will help you prioritise things in your personal life and get you on your way to developing a weekly routine that works for you.
Which of these tips will you be implementing?
Are there any that have not been mentioned that you think are essential for creating a good school routine?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!