"All I have learned, I learned from books." ― Abraham Lincoln
The life of a working student is unfathomable, unless you've been there and done that. While many will view the idea of balancing work and study as a quagmire ready to swallow you whole, it's not actually as bad as it sounds. Multitasking may come naturally to the fairer sex, but guys can learn how to switch roles, too. There's a lot that can be learned from students and young adults who pursue both a job and an education; don't let someone tell you otherwise. It's a highly motivational scenario for those who dropped the idea of completing an education, or forsook a job because the pressure was indomitable.
It doesn't have to be one thing or the other, where pursuing both a job and an education can be done with ease if you allow yourself to follow a tight schedule, with no room for slacking off. With our help, you'll learn how to cope with the stress and program yourself to manage tasks with the greatest of ease.
How to Balance a Job and Studies
Prioritizing: The Key to Efficacy
You'll have responsibilities that the office demands, and others that school will. Learn how to gauge which tasks need to be given more importance than others, and plan it out in your timetable of how you're going to achieve this. Remember, school comes first. We know that you're trying to earn a living while studying, but you have to first finish what your school expects of you. If you have an upcoming assignment, get it done before doing any work that the office dumps on you. If you have to study for a test, make time for it before completing pending office work. Many jobs do not expect you to take work home, but you may want to do this to make a good impression or be complaisant―don't. There'll be plenty of time to do that once you're through with school.
Procrastination is the Devil
It is the greatest of evils to put off work that desperately needs your attention. Don't be maniacal about completing tasks at the eleventh hour, or you're going to eventually run head-on into a brick wall. Deadlines―as you will learn when you're a full-time employee―are everything when it comes to everyday chores and responsibilities. One slip up, and you'll be dealing with a mountain of problems as you scramble hastily to complete more than you can handle, within a minuscule amount of time. If a deadline has been set, whether it's a test, project, or submission, plan a course of action that finds you presenting timely work. You don't want to put forward half-hearted, weak, and flawed work, because it will reflect badly on your grades. You're only going to go downhill from there unless you grab your responsibilities by the horns.
Create a Weekly Timetable
You'll discover just how much of a lifesaver a timetable is. Draw up a schedule and segregate tasks for the entire week, not month. By following a weekly timetable, you can realistically allow yourself to complete what is required for the next seven days, without worrying about what will happen the week after. If you have tests coming up within the month, mark it on an expansive calendar with a bright felt pen, and fashion your timetable accordingly. Make a note of everything you need to do along with the timings, including the deadlines of projects or any submissions. Make use of sticky notes for last-minute details, placing them around your room to serve as constant reminders.
Keep Family/Friends/Employees in the Loop
Because your timetable is chockablock with must-do tasks and study timings, you'll need to keep everyone abreast with what's going on. Your office will need to know that you're pursuing school and agree to grant you leave whenever necessary. If you're unavailable for weekend plans or family outings, inform close ones that you'll be busy and need the time to complete school work or attend tuition. The best way to keep everyone informed and up-to-speed, is to email them your work and study schedule. Make time for people when your schedule lightens up or when the holidays come around.
Consider Night School/Online Classes
The best way to manage your time
without going nuts, is to look for schools that hold classes in the night. Plenty of places do this; do a little research before signing up for a class. Online degrees are a neoteric concept that's gaining popularity the world over. They're very much at par with eminent universities, offering a wide variety of degrees that cover an impressive array of subjects. Study material can be mailed to your doorstep, you can attend classes online at your
convenience, and in some cases, submit work through a flexible deadline. That way, you won't need to worry about running late for school or coping with a tiresome schedule.
Learn How to Say 'No'
You don't have to say yes to everything, you know. If your friends cannot understand why you're always so busy, tell them politely of how you're trying to balance work and study, especially if the money pays for rent, food, and student bills. Not everyone will get it, so learning how to say no is essential. Even at the office, if you're asked to work late and you need to get to class, make yourself clear of how imperative it is that you are a regular student, for fear of falling behind. The best way to avoid this is to tell your employer that you can't sit beyond a certain time, when you apply for the job. During the interview, this is a crucial point to bring up.
Avoid Jobs that Spell S.T.R.E.S.S
You have enough on your plate right now with respect to school, and the last thing you need is a job that sucks the life out of you. If it's mentally/physically stressful to keep up with the demands of your job, look for something else that doesn't leave you spent and out of sorts by the end of the day. Your health will take a mighty blow from the stress you're putting it through, since you will without a doubt mess up your eating and sleep cycles. For a student who's trying hard to make it through class, a job that asks so much of your time and energy, is not worth it. Look for a job that pays moderately well, allows you to leave on time, and doesn't send you home with a heap of work.
Don't Push Yourself Too Hard
At the end of the day, we're only human; we need to take a breather every once in a while. You don't want to look like a ragamuffin that's struggling to get through the day, with barely enough energy to do something fun. While we aren't saying that you remain faineant for long hours, we do recommend the occasional relaxation or fun activity. Whether it's spending the day cooking a scrumptious meal you love or getting a soothing massage, take time out from your hectic schedule to do something for yourself that doesn't involve encyclopedic books, computers, numbers, or timetables. Slow down, breathe, and do something else for a change.
Meditate, Practice Yoga, or Exercise
Not refueling your spent body is only going to slow you down, make you surly, and force you to give in to edacious sessions. Practice a healthy form of physical activity combined with good eating habits, to feel so much better by the end of the day. Besides getting a surfeit of energy, you'll feel happier and put more of yourself into what you're doing because you want to, and not because you have to. It'll be a harmonious mix of healthy living and eating. Avoid binge-drinking since alcohol can sap energy levels and leave you groggy all day, decreasing your performance level at work and school. Cut down on junk food and learn how to prepare your own meals from scratch.
Love What You Do
We believe that an ennui for what you do, will only get you so far. You need to really like what you're pursuing, because this is something you're going to be doing for a long time. This is your career path, and you want to make it memorable whether it's at school or in the office. If you hate your job, quit now before it interferes with school work. If you think that the classes you're taking are dull, unproductive, or a choice gone bad, find a way to switch courses and evaluate how you're going to make up for lost time and expenses. You have the power to choose what you want to do with your life, and if by the end of it you're dissatisfied or dubious, find a way to turn things around.
Give yourself time to assess your goals and responsibilities before taking up a job or course. You need to understand just how vital it is to make a decision based on surety, and not out of haste or with trial-and-error intentions. Once you immerse yourself with work and study, incorporate the above pointers into your schedule and things should be just fine.