UCL School of Management

Ivan Tan | 2 May 2023

Five tips for maintaining a healthy study-life balance

Maintaining a study-life balance is very important to avoid burning out, as studying can be quite depressing if that’s all you think about throughout your entire Master’s degree. As such, it’s essential to allocate time for oneself and not let studying completely consume you. MSc Management student Ivan Tan offers valuable insights in their latest blog post, sharing five tips for achieving a harmonious study-life balance based on their personal experience.​

Tip 1: Time Management and Scheduling

Firstly, time management and scheduling are vital for maintaining a good study-life balance. It’s crucial to allocate time for everything, including academics, extracurricular activities, your social life, and personal time. I found that having a whiteboard and writing down what I needed to get done each day worked well for me, but this can be different for everyone. I believe this is important to avoid procrastination and cramming for last minute deadlines as you can make the most out of your day. This will allow you to be efficient with your time and ensure you have enough time to both study and relax. It’s also essential to be realistic with your time allocation and schedule breaks to avoid burnout (e.g., no 12-hour cramming sessions!!).

Tip 2: Find set study spots that work for you

Creating a schedule is good and all, but what’s important is that you stick with it or else the schedule is useless. One way to ensure that you stick to your schedule is by booking a study spot on campus. For example, you can designate a specific place for studying, such as the library or a coffee shop. This can help you stay focused and eliminate distractions. For me, I know that I cannot study at home, regardless of the situation. As such, I make sure that if I needed to study, I would stay at the school’s study room and stay there until I finish the task in hand. UCL School of Management also opens on weekends, so this can allow you to get work done even if it’s on the weekends. For me this makes me feel that I always know that I can relax when I’m at home as studying will only be done at on campus.

Tip 3: Studying with a Friend

Nevertheless, there are times when you may not have the motivation to force yourself to go to Canary Wharf or Bloomsbury to study. Studying alone can also be quite depressing at times. The solution to these problems would be study with a friend! Getting a friend to study with you can help you stay motivated and makes sure that you stick to your plan. There are times when I would wake up on a Saturday not wanting to go to campus, but I would force myself to go to honour my commitment to meet to my friend. You can also set goals together, especially if you’re taking the same programme; such as finishing the same past paper or doing the same readings. I also found myself much more productive as seeing my friend work hard makes me motivated to start working as well.

Tip 4: Looking After Yourself

Although studying is important, it is crucial to take care of yourself for maintaining a study-life balance. Lack of sleep and poor nutrition can lead to burnout and even illness. The last thing you want to do is cram everything to the last minute only to fall sick from your body being too tired. You should make sure to prioritize your health by getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising regularly to maintain that your body is fit for studying.

Looking after yourself doesn’t only mean physically, but mentally as well. The Master’s programme is tough and can be quite stressful, so you must maintain a strong positive mental to approach your study with a clear mind. I personally found that treating myself to something small, like bubble tea or chocolate, after finishing an assignment gave me that burst of positivity to keep staying productive and not feel too depressed from such intense studying.

Tip 5: Making Time for Yourself

Finally, it is important to relax and take a break from the studying. Sometimes, it can even be a good idea to simply do nothing and just stay in bed all day to clear your mind. You can also read a book or watch a movie. Just do whatever you like and something that relaxes you and helps you switch off! Taking a break and relaxing can help you reset mentally and become more productive – it basically recharges your batteries. Doing all this can help you relieve stress and boost your mood so that you can study much productively when needed.

In summary

Maintaining a study-life balance is crucial for academic success and personal well-being. By following these five tips, you can prioritise your time and avoid burnout. Remember to take care of yourself and make time for the things you enjoy so that you can make the most out of your Master’s programme! Wishing you all the bst for your future study endevours.

Last updated Friday, 9 June 2023