Being productive and pushing out quality assignments while also having a thriving social life can be near impossible.  The key is in finding YOUR balance.

We’ve all struggled with the battle of listening to our brain that says, “You should stay in and finish that assignment,” or listening to our friends and roommates say, “You can finish that later, there’s a party going on tonight!”

Do you stay in and finish your work or do you go out and finish your work later? That is the question.

Being productive and pushing out quality assignments while also having a thriving social life can be near impossible. Those assignments won’t get done unless you make the time to do them, and we all know there will always be another party.

I know the struggle all too well. In college it was study or party. Now it’s, “Stay on schedule with freelance work or lay around and waste time online.” I rationalize by thinking the time will come when I have a sudden burst of creative energy and I’ll be able to get it all done in a short amount of time, and then move back to watching YouTube videos on the latest eye shadow palettes. Right.

I don’t have the recipe to curbing Netflix or YouTube addictions, but I do have a few tricks to staying on task and also having a good time as well.

Realizing You’re Only Young Once

That doesn’t mean you have to attend every single party and that doesn’t mean that if you don’t spend every moment with your head buried in work that you’ll live a life of regret either. It just means that you need to find balance in everything you do.

You should take the time to relax and hang out with your friends on weekends, but you shouldn’t keep blowing off studying for a huge test that could alter your outcome in a class.

Learn to weigh the pros and cons before you plan an all-nighter or before you have to cram before a big test. Every once in a while it’s okay to skip studying or working on a project, but don’t let it become a habit so you never get anything done.

Planning and Keeping a Schedule

Some of us just run smoother when we have a set schedule or a planner full of pretty stickers telling us when we should work on a big project and when we should get our eyebrows done.

I’m one of those who likes the idea of planners and schedules, but I get sidetracked and don’t keep as organized as I should. I notice a big difference when I write things down (even if it’s just a pile of sticky notes on my computer) and when I plan ahead. Map out your day and plan breaks and when the time comes for the next big event, you won’t be pressed to make up for lost time.

Learning to Say No

This might mean telling your friends you’ll catch them at the hot new movie next weekend or telling a potential client you won’t be able to work on a project. Your time is valuable! If you don’t leave time for yourself or for productivity, things will fall apart.

Taking Time to Relax

I’m a huge advocate for “me time.” Sometimes you think guzzling party juice will put you in a better mood until you realize that you could’ve been in bed watching Gossip Girl without pants enjoying the carefree life.

In between all of your hard work and social life, you need your own space. Life is so much clearer when you take the time to hear yourself think and breathe without distractions.

There is no remedy to staying sane between working hard and playing hard. It’s all about balance and knowing when you can and can’t handle something.

Always take personal time (sometimes personal days) where you do nothing but cater to you. At the end of the day, will you be more proud of finishing a big assignment or more relieved from a good night out with your girlfriends? It’s all up to you.