How To Balance Work, Family And A Thesis Project?

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Work, Family, Thesis

Work, Family, Thesis

As I’ve received emails from people asking me how to balance work, family and a thesis project, here is a new post that will hopefully help a little bit to some of you who are faced with this challenge.

These days it is quite normal that people go back to school as adults and have to learn to balance their studying with work and family life. Students find life especially difficult when the time comes to write their final year thesis, whether they are undergraduates or postgraduates, they still have many demands on their time. Here are some tips on how to manage what time you have more effectively.

The Five Ps

The fact of the matter is that everyone has 24 hours a day at their disposal, how they spend that time is entirely up to them but most people’s lives run a lot more smoothly when they have some sort of plan. You may think that with everything else that you have to do there really isn’t any time left to take out for planning – wrong – if you don’t plan then you can expect a lot more problems. Remember the five ps, proper planning prevents poor performance, and you will find the ten minutes or so every evening to plan the next day.

Start With a Time Table

The first thing that you need to do is make yourself a time table for seven days, each day should have 24 small squares, block out the time that you need for sleep each day. Aim for 8hours sleep a night, if you don’t need that much then you have some extra time to spare. The next thing that you need to put in are all the routine things such as shower dress and meal times, then any classes you have to attend and last of all your work – if you have a family then one way of getting more family time is to make sure that you all sit down to eat together as often as possible.

Once you have entered all the essentials the blocks left over need to be divided between study time and personal time. Don’t think that you can get away without taking at least an hour a day to do something other than work and study. This is your master sheet make copies for other weeks and where the routine differs a bit you can fill in as needed.

Lists – Dos and Don’ts

Do have a list of particular things taken from your timetable, that you need to do on a particular day, besides the routine things. Don’t load too much onto your list at once. When you’ve finished something cross it off, anything that you don’t get round to needs to go at the top of the next day’s list.

Writing Your Thesis

You should have some time marked out on your master sheet as either reading, research or writing time. If there is a task that you keep putting off then go at it in bite sized chunks, just ten minutes can accomplish wonders.


Life can get stressful when you are trying to fit so much into it. Remember that time just is and the only thing you can really manage is yourself. Don’t be a perfectionist. In the final analysis if a job is worth doing then it’s worth doing badly – that’s not an excuse for poor performance, it is a reminder that everything you do does not have to be perfect. We are imperfect beings in a less than perfect world.

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5 Responses to “How To Balance Work, Family And A Thesis Project?”

  1. mufiedNo Gravatar says:

    December 4th, 2008 at 1:04 am

    wew..nice topic,,right now its little bit difficult to balance my work and my thesis,,but nothing impossible…^^

  2. Mustapha HabitoucheNo Gravatar says:

    December 5th, 2008 at 7:34 am

    Dear Vladimir,
    It is really the right thing to do having a balanced programme in our daily life, especially when it is related to the preparation of an important thing as a thesis project. I think I am one of the people concerned more about this issue and I hope it will help me to do so. Many thanks.

  3. hajarNo Gravatar says:

    December 9th, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    dear veladimir

    you wrote the essential and very good note.

    i am at the disturbance situation.


  4. Should I Work Or Not When I Write My Master Thesis? | Vladimir Chen | a Blog of an entrepreneur says:

    December 17th, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    [...] in one of my previous posts I wrote about how one can balance work, family and thesis project here is what you really need to keep in mind when working on your thesis. If you work (non-thesis) [...]

  5. VladimirChenNo Gravatar says:

    January 2nd, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Thanks to all for your positive comments … hope you’re applying these tips. Share results if you feel like it. Happy New Year!

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