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Finding a work-life balance as a student on placement

My name is Maleehah and I'm a third-year student on placement at the Government Legal Department. In this blog I'd like to share some tips with you that can help you achieve a good work-life balance while you're on placement.

Create time blocks
Creating time blocks and organising my schedule has been a lifesaver for me. It helps me get my work done in my full-time job and create blocks for my personal life commitments.

Know your priorities

I've also found it useful to create to-do lists and label them from high priority, upcoming tasks and least priority. This has been helpful in boosting my productivity and it keeps me accountable for upcoming tasks.

When I start my working day, I go through my priority work folder in Outlook and check my calendar. I have colour-coded my calendar so I can easily identify training, line management catch-ups, work trips, life admin and networking meet-ups. It is important for me to organise my inbox into different work folders. This helps me find my communications and work efficiently without worrying about a clogged inbox.

Overall, creating time blocks for work and personal priorities can help achieve a good work-life balance. Knowing your priorities in your work and personal life helps you get your life more organised.


Self-care and wellbeing

During my workday, whether I'm in the office or at home, I make sure I get fresh air and go for walks. I always try and go for walks with my work colleagues. Walking helps boost my mental and physical well-being. Working in the legal sector can be very tiring. Physical activity after a long morning helps in stretching your body. Find peers at work whom you feel comfortable with to chat with whilst going for a walk.

In the Government Legal Department, well-being is a key part of our office culture. We regularly have lunch together and go for short strolls to get fresh air. We also have a well-being room in our office for colleagues to wind down - I use it sometimes for resting and having catch-ups with my colleagues.
It's very important to create networks in the office and build a support system so you can take care of yourself on working days. It helps to make your office experience worthwhile.

Luckily, I am fortunate enough to experience the joys of flexible working - I often get to work in the office and at home. If your workplace offers hybrid working, I would suggest you utilise it as it helps accomplish personal commitments as well.
Lunch and comfort breaks are a must! I use mine to observe my prayers and have my lunch. Lunchtime is a great time to wind down and boost your energy for the working afternoon.

Having hobbies outside of work is important as it helps us relax and spend time doing something we're passionate about. Outside of the legal world, I enjoy learning about my faith, writing poetry, visiting parks and galleries, eating out and taking photographs. It's nice to focus on these because they make me who I am.
I also make sure I take the time to catch up with friends for brunch and calls as they are my support system in my personal life.


In conclusion, finding a work-life balance is down to your organisation and communication skills. Time blocking helps you stay organised in the world of work and personal commitments and effective communication with your employers on flexibility and personal commitments helps you achieve a good work-life balance.

Our Career and Employability Service offers support around placements and work-life balance, as well as resources to help you towards achieving your goals.
(edited 4 months ago)

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