Student vs CEO: How Do I Balance It?

Starting GLO in middle school then expanding in high school and carrying it to college has been difficult but so rewarding.  How do I manage my time being a student and a CEO? Here are some tips. Time management is so important and, yes, it’s probably stressed at every high school and college to maintain a healthy balance of different parts of your life but how is that possible when it feels like there are so many things to do.  I often think about how people in my high school used to say you could choose two of three things; sleep, social life, or academics. I completely disagree (well in high school I didn’t) but moving to NYC and attending Columbia taught me a lot about time management.

  1. Prioritizing things that are important to you.  No matter how busy you get, how stressed or how worn down you get you should never stray from what you know is important to you.  Your long term goals, your family, your best friend, your partner, your academic success, your wellbeing and so on. I don’t mean rank between your best friends and your family and your wellbeing.  I mean acknowledge that some parts of your life may lack a little in order to maintain what is important to you or is a long term goal. For example, you may have to miss a dinner with a group of friends to study for a midterm one day or create some designs for your line (as I’ve done before).  Yes FOMO isn’t the best but it’s so important to know what you want to accomplish and realize some small things have to be forfeited in order to maintain that. If I had gone to every social event that I wanted to GLO wouldn’t be where it is today and I wouldn’t have had as much time to dedicate to my academics.

  2. Business vs grades?  I think that sometimes it can feel like running a business means sacrificing your grades and academics.  This isn’t true and doesn’t need to happen. It’s often easy to get very invested into your business since it’s something that you’ve put so much time into it.  You need to learn to manage that. I know a lot of people like to created schedules with times throughout the day and it is one of my favorite things to do to manage time (I love Google Calendar) but sometimes some flexibility is necessary.  Which is why I schedule the amount of time I’ll work on GLO vs school through the Pomodoro Method. The Pomodoro Method is a time management technique focused on working in intervals; with 25 minutes per interval and a few minutes in between.  I find that the method of working hard for 25 minutes then taking a break really helps in the way I focus. I’ll decide to spend a 25 minute interval revising GLO emails or checking up on designs then take a break and try to complete some homework.  The back and forth method of business vs academics may not work for everyone but I’d highly recommend either allocating time on Google Calendar or using the Pomodoro Method; Tide is my favorite app because it plays ambient sounds in the background during each 25 minute interval!

  3. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself!  As cliche as it sounds selfcare is so important as is health and wellbeing.  Don’t sacrifice any of that. Always find a time during the day to make time for yourself.  I love practicing Mindfulness and try to meditate for at least 10 minutes a day with the Headspace app.  I always give myself at least a couple hours throughout the week to do a face mask, read a book, take a long shower and just focus on checking in with myself and my wellbeing.  Handling a business and being a student isn’t exactly bread and butter. Finding a balance is hard and sometimes it can be a stresser. It’s always important to find time for yourself and I do think it makes a huge difference in how I carry myself and manage both school and GLO.


Zehra Naqvi