Hi, I'm currently in third year studying MChem Chemistry for Drug Discovery and Development. I am passionate about science , LGBTQ+ rights and swimming too.
Having a healthy study-life balance is hugely important to staying mentally healthy but also in being as productive as possible. Below are my top tips for keeping a good study-life balance whilst at university but also in further life too.
Give yourself time each day to chill
One of the most important things when it comes to having a good work-life balance is ensuring that you have enough time to relax and let your brain recover from a busy day. Try setting yourself a time each day that you will stop working to ensure that you do have time to yourself. If you struggle with sticking to this try setting yourself a later time to finish and then gradually make it earlier over a few days, weeks, or months.
Make sure your workspace is organised
The saying goes “tidy workspace, tidy mind” and it’s true. Research has shown that clutter can make it hard to focus on tasks. If your workspace is messy and cluttered it is likely that whilst trying to study, you will be distracted by something in your surroundings. Removing these distractions will allow you to have a better focus on what you need to do and therefore get your tasks completed faster.
Keep a diary/planner
Having a planner is a great way of balancing your time and keeping on top of when you need to study and when you have free time. Colour coding different modules is a perfect way of making it clear what work you need to be doing and when. In your planner, set goals for each day. These should be small achievable goals that contribute to bigger, more impactful tasks. For more information on this check out my article on making to-do lists work for you.
Reset your mind
Make sure you allow time for mindfulness and exercise to keep both your mind and your body healthy. There are lots of mindfulness resources available through the university and my article on staying healthy and keeping active during lockdown can be found here.
There is a fine line between working hard and overworking yourself. The trick is to find the time at which you begin to lose focus and get distracted. Then where possible begin to regularly take breaks after this amount of time so that your brain gets a break. Although it is tempting to power through big projects to get them finished.
Get a study buddy
Do you struggle to keep yourself motivated, lose track of deadlines, or honestly have no clue what your lecturer meant for the last 10 minutes of that lecture? Well if you answered yes to any of those, then a study buddy might work for you. The idea of a study buddy is to have someone on your level who you can work with to support, motivate, and inspire each other. Microsoft Teams is a great platform where you could meet with your study buddy and tips on how to use it effectively can be found here.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope it helps you maintain a healthy study-life balance. Information about the different support the university has in place throughout your studies here can be found on the SU website.