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How to create a work/life balance

Working on your placement can be mentally and physically exhausting. Add in university and a social life and your calendar is already filling up. So how do you go about creating a balance?

If you’re studying too much …

What with university and your placement, there’s often little time left for a social life. Creating a balance can help you feel less overwhelmed, anxious and stressed. And taking a break may even make you more productive.

If you’re spending too much time studying you could try:

  • Taking regular breaks away from your desk


  • Meeting up with family or friends as a treat after a long study session
  • Planning one ‘treat’ activity a week where you can leave study behind and not feel guilty
  • Learn to relax and make time for yourself. Whether it’s a walk in the park or a film at the cinema, you’re allowed you know.

If you’re socialising too much …

Everyone procrastinates once in a while. You know what it’s like, you sit down to study but suddenly other things like doing your washing or sorting your socks become more important. If this sounds like you, figuring out a dedicated time to socialise and a dedicated time to study will help you to create more of a balance.

If you’re spending too much time socialising, you could try:

  • Studying in small half hour chunks
  • Creating a study timetable, a realistic study timetable
  • Experimenting with where you study. Do you find it easier to study in the library or your bedroom?
  • Studying in a group
  • Prioritising, what do you need to do immediately, what can wait and what doesn’t really need to be done at all?
  • Creating a ‘to do’ list
  • Setting goals e.g. “I will study for two hours every day in half hourly chunks.”
  • Making a compromise, if you go out on a Friday night with friends then stay in Saturday night to work on your coursework

Keeping a balance

Creating a plan of balanced activities will help you finish your to-do list while also making room for fun. Life as a nursing student is busy but it doesn’t have to be boring. Don’t be afraid of experimenting and finding out what works best for you.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Adam Roxby

    Brilliant article, a problem for some students ( for example, me) is that they enter their studies with a lot of commitments and engagements. I do environmental campaigning, karate, 3-d modelling and I also have a seven-month-old boy. So as you can imagine I have to be quite straight with myself in what activity gets what time.

    There is also an element of prioritisation. I would assume that for most students in their studies would be their greatest priority and the next three years at least your other activities will take a bit more of a back seat. This is not to say that you will abandon everything else. For example, I still partake in all the other activities I used to it's just that I don't do it to the same extent.

    It can be tricky but with a bit of practice and help from others a perfect(ish) balance can be achieved.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

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