In the workplace we occasionally hear the phrase “work- life balance” usually concerning the lack of said balance!
We however, have study to add to the mix and, it can be a bit of a balancing act!
My own routine consists of study from 0530-0630 each morning. I call this the “golden hour” when I find it easier to take things in. I then take a book with me to work for a bit of study at break times and then study as and when I can in the evenings.
I have to factor in being on call one week in six which generally means no study for a week, this will be particularly crucial at the end of the current module when I am on call for the week leading up to the essay submission date. I need to have my essay finished and ready to submit one week before everyone else so time management is critical and something I need to improve on.
Holidays have to be planned with care but it is not always possible to go away between modules so study on holiday will be a must and not a problem but I wouldn’t like to be away whilst working on an essay.
The help and cooperation of family members is crucial for our studies and the maintenance of the work, life, study balance. I am fortunate and grateful that my wife is 100% behind me and in fact she suggested that I get a qualification to go with my passion for Archaeology in the first place.
I also find the help and support of my fellow students to be invaluable. We have the DL Virtual Student Café to exchange information, advice and banter which picks you up when you are down whilst the academic qualities of my fellow students inspires me to give 100% to my studies.
My employers help by having a scheme where we can buy or sell five days holiday. I buy five extra days a year which is used for my fieldwork. This year I shall be attending a BERT (basic excavation & recording) course at Sedgeford in Norfolk.
I am fortunate to live fairly close to campus and have met some of our tutors in the department of Archaeology & Ancient history and been very inspired by these people who are top of the tree in their fields and more than willing to help and advise those who share their passion.
To conclude, the work, life, study balance can be hard work, difficult and tiring but it also can be pleasurable and rewarding. Is it worth it?……YES!
We all have a different Work, life, study balance, what is your strategy?