Law Training Centre recognises how difficult achieving balance can be, particularly within the legal sector. Discover our top tips for ways to help relieve the pressure and achieve successful balance.
Getting the balance right between work, study, and your personal life can be difficult. Many struggle to maintain the juggling act, and as a result can suffer from burn-out, low productivity, and worsening physical and mental health.
Law Training Centre recognises how difficult achieving balance can be, particularly within the legal sector, which is why we are proud to:
- Facilitate more flexible study to meet your needs through our self-paced fully online courses
- Be staunch advocates for LawCare – the organisation established to support mental wellbeing for anyone in the legal profession
We have also compiled some helpful steps you can take to ease the pressure and break down your commitments into manageable chunks:
1. Put work-life-study balance top of the agenda
Balance will always be just that bit out of reach if it’s not something you are both aware of and committed to maintaining. It takes organisation, energy, flexibility, and focus. It also requires honesty with yourself and – sometimes – the ability to say “no” to things. Whilst this may sound like another effort and commitment in and of itself, the payoff certainly makes it worthwhile!
Like any other skill – the more your efforts to achieve balance are nurtured, reflected upon, and used thoughtfully, the more successful they are likely to be.
2. Discuss things with those closest to you
If you want a balanced life, you shouldn’t just consider your own thoughts, views, and the challenges they present – you may be missing out on an obvious solution or some much needed help or advice! Looking at things from the perspective of those closest to you enables you to access essential support, and it may be that by making them aware of your situation some of these pressures can be removed entirely.
You may also discover something new about how best to meet their needs, whilst protecting your own – it’s always worth checking in to see if there is a more effective/efficient way to achieve things that you may have otherwise overcomplicated all by yourself! If the process ever seems too daunting, it can be really useful to ask for help.
3. Set appropriate boundaries
Clear and consistent boundaries can help protect you from stress. Write a list of your “red lines” – those things which, if they happen regularly, would create the feeling that you’re spending too much time on one activity to the detriment of your well-being.
For example, you might decide not to accept work calls or look at work emails after a certain time in the evening. On the other hand, it may be that you tell your friends that X and Y are study days and that you’ll be completely unavailable then except for emergencies.
4. Accept that sometimes balance won’t be possible
Of course, there will always be times that one single thing must take priority. Achieving perfect balance all the time is not achievable nor desirable – and this isn’t something you should beat yourself up over! For example, when a loved one falls ill, you may need to put other things to one side, or when a vital work or study deadline looms, you’ll probably have to scale back on social activities.
The most important thing is to make sure that you don’t let imbalance become part of your every day. Accept that, whilst it is perfectly normal for things to temporarily become off-centre, you should always strive to restore balance as soon as you can.
Final top tips
- Make a list of your priorities – this will help you know where to draw those red lines
- For one week, track your time – see if you can identify gaps in your schedule or activities you can afford to lose!
- Add treats to your diary – having something to look forward to goes a long way
- Evaluate your life-balance regularly
- Finally, celebrate your successes – it’s really important to give yourself praise not just pressure