Work-life balance seems to be one of the most talked about topics in the professional world today. People are increasingly placing more importance on being able to control their own schedule while ensuring that they have time in their day for friends, family and everything else.
Although I am no expert, as a full-time MBA student with a part-time graduate assistantship, a wife, 2-year-old son, and another child on the way, I have had plenty of experience trying to manage the endless list of ways to spend my time.
Here are a few things I have found that have made a big difference for me, personally:
1) Identify your priorities
You will make time for what is important in your life. There is just no way around that. If the most important thing to you every day is that you spend at least 60 minutes exercising, then you better believe you will find time to squeeze that in. If the most important thing is spending time with your pregnant wife, then you will find time to do that. It may mean that you have to stay up until 1 AM finishing your homework, or wake up at 5 AM to get your workout in. But if it is important enough to you, then you will make it happen.
2) Sacrifice things that don’t really matter
Cancel your Netflix subscription. Throw out your video games. These things are nice to have, but if you are honest with yourself, they don’t really matter do they? Such extremes might not be necessary for everyone, but there may come a time in your life when you do not have time to binge watch a season of whatever color is the new black. Learn to be ok with that.
3) Do not spread yourself too thin
This one is kind of a culmination of the first two. It requires knowing yourself and your priorities and eliminating things that don’t matter. Pick a few things to focus on. Contrary to what some people might tell you, you don’t need to be the president of every club, organization, PTA board, neighborhood watch group, and community center available. If doing those things are your passion, then pick a couple of them and do those things really well. If you have too many projects going on, you will not really be able to accomplish any of them. Use your priorities you developed from the first step to focus your efforts.
4) Take a Break
Studies have shown over and over again that taking a break from work will make you more productive. In my opinion, it is important to find a good work-life balance for you, so that you can be energized every day and not become worn down from by day-to-day tasks.
What's important to note is that everybody will have different definitions of what the perfect 'work-life balance' is, so make sure you find a balance that fits your life and your values. If you can do that, you can certainly succeed as an MBA student.
1st Year MBA Student