Taking a course, submitting your assessments on time, going to work, meeting up with friends… Work-life balance as an international student is often a struggle and can even seem unreachable. We know what it is like! With the years passing, we found a few ways to achieve work-life balance while making the most of our Australian life. Here is how.
1 – Want to optimize your Australian life? Know your values first!
If you don’t know your values, you probably find yourself doing things you don’t enjoy a bit too often in your Australian life. There are chances that you’re easily feeling overwhelmed because you focus on a variety of activities at the same time. Sounds familiar? Then, sit down, take a piece of paper and write down all the things that you want in your Australian life. What is very important for you? In other words, what are your values? Once you’ve clearly defined them, think about the time you devote to activities that respond to those values. Eliminate the ones that don’t contribute to what’s essential for you. If you can’t eliminate them, prioritize what’s most important for you. Finally, make sure that those activities are truly meaningful for you, not for someone else.
2 – Benefit the most from your Australian life in practicing time management.
Taking some time to manage your schedule is essential to gain time. There are many ways to practice time management. To-do lists are one of the simplest and most efficient tools to use. Every night after work, write down all the tasks you’ll need to complete the day after. Estimate the time you’ll need to finish each of them and prioritize them. You could for instance rank them from ‘’urgent and important’’, ‘’important but not urgent’’, ‘’urgent but not important’’ to ‘’neither urgent nor important’’. If you are working on a big project, split it into a few tasks to help you realize your progress and what to do next.
Moreover, to gain productivity, try to start your day with the most challenging tasks of your daily schedule. Morning is generally the time when we’re the most focused. However, if you’re a night owl, apply this advice to nighttime.
Finally, try to stick to what you’ve planned, work hours included. Avoid taking more work at home, learn to delegate if you can, or to relax after working hours. If you find yourself constantly distracted by notifications, turn off your phone for a determined amount of time. Multitasking makes us far less focused and productive. Do you want to stop doing 100 things at the same time but can’t manage to do it? Many softwares have been created to struggle against one of the issues of our times: the lack of focus. Thymer, Focus Booster, and Rescue Time are great tools to support you with time management.
3 – Have downtime to capitalize on your Australian life.
This is probably one of the most important tips of this article: take some time to recharge! Technology makes us constantly accessible, making our brains perpetually invaded by information. Working all the time is counterproductive and will only decrease your creativity and focus. Therefore, plan some time for yourself, just like you’ll plan a meeting with a colleague. One of the ways to do this is by using Google Calendar and to classify activities in different colors: green when you plan time for yourself, blue for your personal life, orange for your professional life… And then, stick to it!
Try to unplug every now and then. Turning off your phone every Sunday, and not using any screens at all for instance can help you to feel more grounded and ready for the week to come. Meditation is also an amazing tool, a well as time in nature, creation, sport, and socialization. Instead of accumulating various activities, ensure that you have quality time for yourself and your loved ones. You could organize a sport session with a friend, for instance, helping you to considerably decrease your stress.
When working, don’t hesitate to take a break and to get up every hour. The better you feel, the better you are as a colleague, partner, student, friend…
4 – Make the best use of your Australian life in forgetting perfectionism.
Perfectionism can become destructive. Instead of striving for perfection, try to aim at excellence. Reevaluate your standards and challenge your perfectionist thoughts in setting up alternative thoughts. When feeling anxious about a report or an exam at school, for instance, ask yourself the following question: what is the worst that could happen? You’ll often find yourself realizing that the worst that could happen is highly improbable. Still nervous? Have a plan B and C. But don’t forget: it’s normal to make mistakes and even healthy. Mistakes allow you to progress and are an inevitable part of success!
5 – Learn to say no to take full advantage of your Australian life.
You cannot do everything for everyone. Set boundaries with co-workers, friends, family members, or partners. If you are already overwhelmed by work, say no, without feeling guilty.
Remember, you’re not turning down a person, just a request. Be firm and direct: ‘’I apologize but I can’t this evening’’. If you cannot completely turn down the request, inform your interlocutor that you’re currently busy but suggest planning a specific time in the week to help them resolve their issue.
Finally, when out of work or engaged in other activities, notify your team members and your manager about boundaries beyond which you cannot be accessible. Never lie, be true to yourself and others to keep healthy relationships.
Do you want specific information about the student visa or tips to make the most of your Australian life? Contact us here or here and let’s have a chat.