Work-Life Balance

Student sitting with laptop in front of Olin building.

According to the 2016 College Senior Survey, 91 percent of Luther seniors say that work-life balance is an essential career path consideration. But you don't have to wait until you graduate to start learning skills to help you achieve this goal!

Here are some tips about how to focus on the task at hand and manage your digital life to make more time for things that matter.

Key Self-Management Strategies

  • Maintain a clutter-free workspace.
  • Before you start on a difficult task, practice these three intentional points of focus: 1) Notice your breath. 2) Adjust your posture. 3) Focus on one task. (Multitasking is a myth.)
  • When working on your most important tasks, turn off distractions to focus (email, social media notifications, TV, Netflix, etc).
  • Declutter your brain by putting to-dos and appointments into a calendar and task list with reminders. This frees up your brain to be creative.
  • Learn how to manage your email and use Unroll.me to manage subscriptions.
  • Create a focus habit. Start by focusing on your work, disruption-free, for 15 minutes and gradually increase it to 45 minutes. (Practice every day!)

For more, read Professor Amy Weldon's blog post, Recreating yourself.

Stress Management

According to a 2015 survey of first-year college students, 50% of students reported feeling stressed most or all of the time and 36% did not feel as if they were in control of managing the stress of day-to-day college life. Wow!

It is critical that you become aware of your level of stress and find ways to cope. Counseling Service can assist you with this if you need additional support. You can speak to a counselor or visit the Zen Den in Larsen Hall Health Service Clinic.

Stress management strategies include:

You'll learn more about stress management and other wellness-related topics in your Fit and Well class.

What have Luther students learned about work-life balance?

  • Find what you love! Having a job and classes that you enjoy makes everything so much easier.
  • Get lots of sleep. It's fun to stay up late, but classes and activities are so much more rewarding when you're well-rested and fully engaged.
  • Get outside! Take a break to sit on a bench for a few minutes between classes, choose to bike downtown instead of drive, and sip your latte on the deck behind Oneota.
  • Take a few moments every day to admire the incredible natural beauty surrounding us before diving back into your studies.
  • Make sure you take time on the weekends to relax and take a break from all your homework!
  • My planner is my bible. I could not live without Google Calendar. I set a lot of reminders on my phone as well, which helps me as I am very forgetful.
  • One of the greatest things to do in college is to find a hobby that is stress-relieving to you and devote small amounts of time to doing that. Having a short mental break is exactly the refreshing time you need to get back to being productive with homework.
  • Be proactive and work ahead as much as you can. Make sure to take advantage of small amounts of time between classes or activities.
  • Constantly evaluate your college life and the things you are involved with to see if they are all truly making you a happier and better person.
  • Procrastination can become a habit, so avoid getting behind in the first place. Once you come to Luther you'll be able to manage the amount of activities you have time for and prioritize accordingly.
Graphic of college grad

Why Your Freshman Year In College Will NOT Be 13th Grade

Great info about how college will be different from high school. Read the article.

Student-Approved Productivity Apps

  • gTasks - syncs with Google Calendar Tasks
  • Reminders - so you can declutter your brain
  • AnyList - for any list (get it!?)
  • Pocket - for saving articles, images, videos for later
  • Inbox - for quick and easy email processing