Work-life balance

How to plan, manage and enjoy your commitments

We all need help in organising our lives, and arguably your time at University will be one of the busiest times ever.

So we’ve complied some tips to help you plan, manage and enjoy your commitments, with a focus on your part time job.

  • Make sure your appointments, exams and assignments are marked in your diary or calendar.
  • Try to plan ahead. If you know a busy time is coming up on your course or at your place of work, plan ahead as much as possible and try to move things around to create a balance.
  • Employers will be more sympathetic if you advise them as soon as you can that you can’t work, and if you are able to suggest practical solutions and take responsibility for the change in rota they will think this is good.
  • If you are struggling, seek advice and support as early as you can from your course tutor or The SU advice team. Often coursework deadlines can be extended in exceptional circumstances.
  • Don’t forget to give yourself time to unwind and relax after work or study. Don’t, for example, cut something out because you don’t feel you have the time to fit it in. You will resent the fact that you can’t do this activity and either your work or your job will suffer.
  • Try to stick to structured work patterns so you know, for example, every Thursday morning you work 9-12. This will help you to focus your time.
  • Be realistic about what you can fit in. Remember there are only 24 hours in a day. Don’t over promise then under deliver.
  • Try to cut back on part time work during exam times. Work might provide you with a welcome relief from your study but try to organise some time off before exams and try not to agree to extra shifts or overtime at this time.
  • Don’t skip lectures to undertake work. Missing classes and submitting work late or of poor quality will seriously affect your degree.
  • Evaluate what you are spending your time on to identify areas where you can make changes. For example are you spending valuable time travelling to and from work? Can you change shift times so you only have to make the journey once, or find a job closer to your accommodation?
  • Remember to talk about how you managed your time while working and studying at job interviews. Employers will be impressed to hear how you achieved this and it can demonstrate your organisational and time management skills.