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How To Maintain A Work-Life Balance (And Travel Through Time)

Macleay College's Tips and Tricks for Managing Your Time

Everyone wants to turn back time – just ask Cher! You might long for Hermione’s time-turner to cram extra homework into the day; wish to travel ‘back to the future’ and air-skate like Marty, or be like Billy Pilgrim from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five and flit between past and future in the fourth dimension... But, the reality is: we’re stuck in the present.

 

Time Is Valuable

Because our time on Earth is precious, ask yourself each day, month and year what you want to do with your time. Goal-setting is easy for some and harder for others. Ultimately, aspirations should be defined by the people, places and opportunities you're passionate about – and be realistic! Your time is better spent working towards achievable goals than wanting to wake up as Bill Gates or Beyoncé. Valuing your time means valuing yourself, and what you can contribute to the world.

 

Time Should Be Planned

The first step to achieving your goals is being aware of the time you have to complete them. Clocks and calendars are a good starting point. From there, you can plan time effectively. Using phones, email or social media to keep track of dates makes it easy to compartmentalise tasks and create space for family, friends and fun.


Alumni share how they balanced work and life while studying at Macleay College.


Time Can Be Short

It’s essential to think of schedules as time-frames, not deadlines. This will help you avoid stress. Small chunks of time add up to larger chunks of time. For example, it’s easier to study entrepreneurship for thirty minutes each day than it is to cram an entire load of coursework into the weekend before exams. Planning forward will save your brain power and from getting run-down.


Related article:
How to Start a Successful Business

Time Should Be Flexible

It’s easy to jam-pack your schedule. We all get FOMO and want to do as much as we can with our  time. But, having room for flexibility is vital for good health. The day’s demands can be in conflict and our priorities change. Allocating blocks of time each week to catch up on study, jobs and personal admin will keep your work-life balance in check!

 

Macleay lecturer Dr Manny Aston speaks about time management in How To Study Smart.

 

Time Is In The Present

Being efficient with your time means being present. It’s no use allocating 30 minutes for studying if you’re going to scroll Instagram instead. There are several ways to increase productivity. Filmmaker David Lynch swears by transcendental meditation. Studies have found a link between mindfulness and thickening in the prefrontal cortex – our brain’s attention control centre.


Time Isn't Online

If meditating isn’t your thing, try going offline.  The average Australian spends six hours on social media per week – almost an entire working day! Social apps keep us connected to the people we love, but they also fuel insecurity and procrastination. Cutting-down usage by half could change your life. In 2017, the Journal of Computers in Human Behaviour reported that people using seven or more social platforms per day were 300% more likely to suffer anxiety than people using two or less.

Related article: Discover Why Macleay Alumni Are Thriving

 

Time Isn't Dead

Swap scrolling for schooling to fill dead time. For example, when you’re on public transport: read a book rather than Facebook, listen to a podcast instead of music and revise flashcards over feeds. These activities give your brain the boost that social media can’t.


Time Is Free

The most important thing is… To do whatever your heart desires! Leaving chunks of your calendar free is crucial for good mental and physical health. In the wise (and extremely foreboding) words of Jeremy Glass, “We can’t take silly dips in the ocean because there’s no service on the beach and adventures aren’t real unless they’re on Instagram. Technology has doomed the spontaneity of adventure.” So, put down your phone and schoolbooks and seize the day!

 

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