Whether you’re a new massage therapy student or have been in the program for a bit, you know one thing for sure—massage therapy school is no joke.
It probably feels like you’re drowning in classes. With the likes of musculoskeletal anatomy, neuroanatomy, and clinical assessments filling your schedule, you practically are!
So how can you juggle school with a personal life and other obligations? Is it even possible? As it turns out, yes! With a few simple steps and some discipline, you’ll be the most well put together massage therapy student out there:
Time management takes planning and discipline. As the saying goes, “Plan your work and work your plan.” But that can be harder than it sounds. For example, you might be the kind of person who sets big goals for the day. Then, when you run out of time and can’t meet all your goals, you feel unproductive and bad about yourself.
That’s why setting SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) makes a huge difference. Only you know how much physical and mental energy you have after a day of classes. Keep that in mind so you set realistic goals.
Now that you know what you need to get done, you need to figure out how to do it.
The first obstacle to executing your plan is distractions, especially if you’re on your computer. Luckily, sites like Toggl and Freedom cut down distractions and track how much time you’ve spent working.
It’s also not reasonable to expect yourself to study for hours at a time after having class all day. Breaking up studying or other productive tasks into doable increments can be accomplished through the Pomodoro Technique. In this technique, you work on a task without any distractions for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break, then start another round of the task. After 4 rounds, you can take an extended break and decide how many more rounds you need to go.
You’ve got the plan, and you know how to execute it. The next step is keeping it up and building a routine. If you’re the type of person who likes to visualize, then invest in a planner where you can write down your goals for the day and check them off as you go. An hourly planner might be even better so you can allocate a certain amount of time to each task.
But to be successful in massage therapy school, you need balance within that routine. Being a perfectionist and only focusing on productivity may lead to excessive guilt, anxiety, and depression. That’s why you need to make time for yourself. Build enjoyable activities that keep you healthy into your routine, whether that be exercise, meditation, or spending time with loved ones.
At the end of the day, you know massage therapy college is worth the work. And don’t forget how excited your friends were to know a future massage therapist! Just remember to use your time effectively and set aside time for the fun stuff, too.