To balance work and study at the same time can be a very difficult thing to do. Even though studying while working is commonplace, it is also something that can put stress on a person if not done right.
Whatever the reason you need to study and work, you’re likely to need a good plan to get you through. Although the thought of balancing work and study may seem overwhelming, it can be achievable with some planning and self-discipline.
The following tips show the best ways to balance work and study:
Be organised and have a plan
For you to balance work and study, you need to be organised both at work and in class. You can do this by keeping your school materials organised in one place. This makes it easy for you to find them. On top of that, clearly marking all school and work deadlines on your calendar. This gives you a chance to do what is necessary to meet the deadlines. Start all assignments early to enable you to complete them just in case other things come up. Creating time to study in your schedule is important so ensure you allocate time each week to spend hitting the books.
Create a flexible schedule
It is important to understand and accept the fact that some parts of your schedule will not be flexible especially class times and work days. You should however take advantage of things like leave, job sharing or flexible hours to study to do your homework. Build a flexible routine you can stick with. As a student who is working at the same time, you should be ready to adapt to new assignments, sudden work crisis and unexpected errands. However, the most important thing to do here is to make enough studying time in your schedule.
Prioritise and be realistic
This is the first step to understanding what you can realistically handle. Always be honest with yourself. It is essential to understand that with so much on your plate, you do not have all the time to do everything. Therefore, decide on your priorities and accept that some things will have to change. Making time to socialise and exercise is important, but you may have to miss a few sessions here and there to complete an assignment that is due, or catch up on work. At the end of the day, once the course is over, you’ll get some time back to get your social life and exercise schedule on track.
It is important to communicate your tight schedule to your employers, clients, friends and family. This helps in ensuring that the people around you know where and when you will be available. For you to study effectively, you need time to go through your class work. Letting people know about your schedule prevents them from interfering with your study time. Remember, not everyone you live with or work with understands the demands of being a student. Similarly, not all your mates understand the responsibilities of working while in school. Therefore, communicate and let the people around you know when you can socialise, when you need help with errands and when you need to study.
Avoid time wasting
Learn to say no to people and things that will negatively affect your studies or work. Try as much as you can to take your classes as close to your home or work as possible. This will allow you to cut down on your transport time and costs. Discipline yourself as far as time management is concerned. Avoid spending a lot of time on social media, as this can be a huge time-killer. This does not mean that you should not have time to relax but you should spend your time wisely.
Learn how to manage stress
Stress is an unavoidable part of being a student and a worker at the same time. Therefore, the best thing to do is not to avoid stress but to learn how to manage it. Get adequate sleep, take regular breaks, be active in class and at work, eat well, work out, stretch and even take a walk. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help you manage stress. Remember to live your life to the fullest. Allow yourself to enjoy some of the best things life has to offer; otherwise you may forget what you’re studying for.
In summary, by working and studying at the same time, you are taking a challenge that some people do not dare to attempt. But this does not mean that it is impossible; many people have done it and succeeded. Keep your goals and reasons in mind and use them as a motivation and follow the tips above to balance work and study as best you can.
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