Most of us are familiar with the challenges of life. Whether it’s balancing your personal life with work, or simply trying to figure out how to fit in chores with your already hectic and overbooked schedule, one of the most important skills anyone must master is how to achieve balance; this is especially true for a nursing student.
This need can feel almost impossible when enrolled in Nursing school, CNA classes online, or a Master of Nursing degree program. At this point in your life, you’ve already undergone years of training, examination and work experience. You likely already understand the hectic lifestyle being a nurse demands, but as you try to juggle school, work and your personal life, it can feel as if there aren’t enough hours in the day.
Top 4 Tips for the Working Nursing Student
While cultivating an effective work-life-school balance is a personalized undertaking, there are several tips you can implement to help restore and retain a happy, successful and balanced life as a nursing student.
Tip #1 | Organization is Paramount
When you’re constantly busy, becoming disorganized is way easier than you may think. However, as any nursing student who’s walked this path before you will agree, sustaining extreme levels of organization is essential. At home, create a designated area that is only used for studying. This is important as it means that when you’re in this space, you’re studying, and when you aren’t, you are free to avoid school-related activities. Creating separation and compartmentalization is paramount.
Tip #2 | Prioritize Your Day
At least once per week, sit down and prioritize your activities and requirements for the upcoming week. Simply knowing that you have a lot of important tasks isn’t effective time management, and often leads to missed deadlines or wasted time. Since you’re not only going to graduate school, but working and attempting to have some sort of personal life, every minute counts. Therefore, it’s important to realize what needs to be done when and what can be put off for a later date.
Tip #3 | Make a Real Schedule (not an ideal one)
The biggest hurdle many people come across when creating a schedule, is they aren’t realistic. Sure, you may assume you’ll have ample time to accomplish an extraordinary number of tasks, but in reality, they can only do a handful. This not only makes you feel as if you are constantly failing, but can prove detrimental to completing specific tasks. When making your schedule, be realistic. Understand that certain tasks will take longer, or at a certain point of the day, you’ll be too tired to accomplish anything. Use your natural limits to your advantage by planning on them.
Tip #4 | Prepare for Stress (and learn how to manage it)
Even the most even-headed individuals are bound to experience massive amounts of stress as they attempt to juggle three demanding lives in just one day. There will be times when stress may seem overwhelming. Therefore, plan ahead. Make a list of different ways you can de-stress based upon the intensity level of each stressor. These can include doing a non-work or school related activity, taking a nap or baking your favorite dessert. The only way to come out of this intense moment in life is to plan for the inevitable and do what you can to appease your human (stressful) brain.