So, this is my second-year working alongside my degree and it’s tough, I have tonnes of late nights due to both work and study. I also have to balance a social life and my extracurricular’s as the Campus Ambassador for both Amicus ALJ and The Lawyer Portal. How do I do it? Unfortunately, I am not one of those people who writes schedules, though I have tried but sometimes things often don’t go to plan, sometimes I don’t work the same days each week and sometimes I have more university work in different weeks. When I worked in my final-year of university, I managed to balance 4 part-time (sometimes full -time) jobs, extracurriculars of water polo and pole fitness somehow.
So, below I have explained in-detail ways to manage your time effectively.
I manage my time quite effectively I think, I have sufficient free-time and always manage to do my work on time, this is because I write lists. Not schedules, lists, like a checklist. I write my list typically on my way home from university. I know every week that I have seminar prep so I make sure to structure my day in such a way that I can complete up to 1 hour of seminar prep, but that varies day-to-day dependant on what I am up to and what I want to do. Lists are great for managing tasks and ensuring that everything is done, by ticking it off at the end you are clear that the task is completed and that you can then move on to the next one. For me my main tasks are usually, seminar prep, training-contract applications and writing articles for my blog, TLP and Amicus ALJ.
I have a diary at the moment to keep track of my future mini-pupillage’s mainly as well as my voluntary work, but diary’s are an effective tool for organising your day’s, week’s, month’s and year’s. I would highly recommend buying an A4 diary that is structure by days as this allows you to write in-depth information about the tasks as well as structure them by hour. You can buy cheap one’s from poundland, they work great, but if you’re looking for a better quality one WHSmith’s and Tesco sell some great diary’s.
When I was studying for my GCSE’s and A-Levels, I used timetables, structure in little blocks, split up by hour starting from 8am and finishing at about 9.30/10pm, dates from Monday to Sunday. This worked during that period because I knew exactly what and where I was and had to be to study, however, university and adult life is unpredictable and so I find it a bit more difficult particularly with my work to create a set timetable. However, if you have more structured work times then this may be a great way to organise your day’s.
University and work can be difficult to manage, it’s all about prioritisation and ensuring that your mental health remains in tack, don’t compromise having a life for studying. Law firms look for a lot more than just academics, so make sure to balance different responsibilities and activities to ensure for an effective use of both time and your life. Life skills and work skills are highly necessary particularly in this competitive job market