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Time Management

A week consists of 168 hours. Given that you need to sleep, eat, and attend class, how much time is really left for important activities?

In this section we'll talk about finding a balance between school and all the other parts of your life, but we'll focus specifically on balancing school with work, social, and studying commitments.

Time Audit Activity

How much time do you need to get everything done in a week?

Try filling out the Time Audit to see how well you know your current time commitments!

Time Audit landing page. Click on the link below to try out the Time Audit activity.

Finding Balance as a Student

Watch the video below for a quick introduction to the work/life balance concept—how much balance do you have in your current schedule?

Time Commitments

As a student at Sheridan, you'll have more than a few key time commitments to fit into your schedule on a weekly basis—along with course readings, assignments, tests, and other school work.

Here's a brief overview of three time commitments students often have outside of school, and a few tips on how to approach adding these areas in your own calendars:

Work commitments include all the scheduled times where you are either working at a part-time or a full-time job during the term.

You might be taking a full course load this term and take on a part-time role to earn some extra money, or you might be taking one or two online or night courses to upskill in your current role or to move into a new industry.

As the term gets busier with midterms and major assignments, you might lose balance between these two areas—some students might start calling in sick to work or missing shifts to finish school projects, while others might start falling behind in their courses and missing assignment deadlines due to a hectic stretch at work.


Tips to Find School-Work Balance

  • Tap into your support network: Ask family or friends to help you with chores and other tasks outside of school. Ask your classmates for advice on how they're balancing their schedules. Chances are good you have people around you who want you to succeed—check with them to see where they can help!
  • Talk to your boss: Depending on your situation, it might be intimidating to talk to your boss—if you're working full-time, then the sooner you can inform your boss that you're going back to school, the more willing they might be to make accommodations for you. If you've started a new part-time job this term, you likely have a bit more flexibility when you start, but keep in mind that you might need to book a few days off when you're coming up to midterms or finals, and letting your boss know in advance will make it easier for your boss to temporarily change the schedule to help you.
  • Streamline your tasks: How can you save time at both work and school? If you have an upcoming assignment, can you pick a topic that reflects what you do at your job? Or maybe you could implement new skills that you learned at school while you're at work. Instead of keeping both areas separate, you can find ways to use your expertise across both areas.
  • Consider online classes: Online classes can make going back to school much easier, especially if you're working full time. Most online courses let you work through content at your own pace, and help you avoid the challenge of commuting to a physical classroom.


Social commitments include all the community events and social activities that happen outside of the classroom. A few examples include club meetings, parties, family events, volunteering shifts, and so much more.

As the term gets busier with midterms and major assignments, you might react in one of two ways—either you might focus so much on school work that you miss out on social events that matter to you, or you put more of your energy into your social life and suddenly realize you've fallen behind in your courses.

Finding balance in your schedule means finding balance between all the different aspects of your life. While you might need to turn down social commitments one week, you might have more time to socialize in a few weeks' time.


Tips to Find School-Social Balance

  • Schedule free time: This might sound counter-intuitive, but adding free time in your schedule makes sure that you have time to do whatever you want to do. You might use this time to reconnect with friends or family, to attend a big event, or to even take a bit of time for yourself. You deserve a break!
  • Keep a day free: Some students have one day during the week that's set aside to prevent burnout. You could use it for socializing, indulging in extracurricular activities, or to just catch up on sleeping. It might be challenging to get an entire day for yourself, which is why some students prefer scheduling at least a few hours to follow their own interests (see above).
  • Study with friends: If you and your friends have been trying to meet up for ages and have too much homework, schedule a trip to the library or work together over a video call. You can also schedule shared study breaks where you can relax and also check in with each other to make sure you stay productive. Sheridan Library has group study rooms where you and up to 3 friends can meet to study.

Study commitments are closely tied to school work overall, but it's a commitment that's often lost as the term gets busier.

To study effectively, it's important to review your notes on a weekly basis to make sure you understand the material, have time to ask your professor for clarification on certain topics, and to avoid the last-minute pressure to study for a major midterm or final exam.

To learn more about how to find Study-School Balance, make sure to check out the Studying and Test Taking module and the Taking Notes module in the Academic Skills Hub.

Pause & Reflect

Take a couple of minutes to think about the following questions:

  • Do you currently feel like you have a good work life balance? Why are why not?
  • What takes up most of your time in your schedule?
  • What do you want to add to your schedule?
  • Do you revisit and reassess your work life balance regularly? Why or why not?