5 tips to balance study, work and life

Written by Sally O’Neil | 24 April, 2019

It feels like you’re juggling a thousand things and you jump from one priority to the other, I do it all the time! It’s a constant dance of dealing with deadlines and responsibilities that can leave you feeling exhausted. Whilst managing three businesses, blogging, accounting, a social life, a fitness regime, meditation practice, family contact (across the world) and a Clinical Nutrition degree at Endeavour College, I’ve learnt a thing or two about managing my time effectively.

Try following these steps from Sally O'Neil ( The Fit Foodie and an Endeavour student) to lead an effective, productive, and balanced life when you have many balls in the air!

Boundaries are essential to maintain a balanced life. Knowing and understanding your own limits is key here – which only comes with practice. Don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t manage everything perfectly all of the time. It’s a work in progress, and four years after leaving full-time work I’m still finding my groove! Consider what triggers your stress, what workload you can actually tolerate, and the quality of life you want to maintain. This will help you with step two below.

Create a schedule by blocking out time for certain tasks and follow it. You have roughly 16 waking hours to play with so use your time consciously to make the most of each one. Eg. 1 hour workout, 1 hour for social media engagement, 2 hours for study or self-improvement, 1 hour social time, 1 hour answering emails etc etc. Be sure to leave room for personal appointments, interruptive phone calls and errands, and don’t forget to add important deadlines such as exams or project end dates.

When you’re juggling a million things and your to-do list seems never ending, stress management needs to be something you really focus on. This can be trial and error – what works for me may not work for you. There are SO many ways to get your zen on – meditation, a jog, walking the dog, chatting to a mate, painting your nails, reading, taking a bath. Whatever it is, add it into your schedule DAILY. It’s a non-negotiable, like brushing your teeth. If you want/need to juggle so many things at once, you just need to do it.

Your brain doesn’t function well if one of these four pillars is lacking. Prioritise seven to eight hours of sleep a night, feed yourself wholefoods full of vitamins and minerals, drink three litres of water a day and don’t neglect your steps. Helpful tips to make this easier:

You’re working yourself to the bone with a new structure (including self-care time) – here comes the reward to pat yourself on the back to keep that motivation buzzing. Give yourself permission to put yourself first and lock in a monthly massage, a weekly facial, a coffee with a loved one – whatever truly brings you joy and lets you completely detach yourself from your responsibilities. Make sure it’s something you really look forward to. If you hit a speed bump, it can keep your eyes focussed on the end goal.

So now it’s time to put this into practice – grab a calendar and get scheduling.

Sally O’Neil

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