Our careers often require that we keep our skills and knowledge up to date or acquire new skills, which means that we need to study while we’re working. When you already have a full-time job and you’re working five days a week, the idea of adding the pressure of studying on top of that can be a prospect you might not be sure you can handle. It is more than possible to study while you’re working full time, but it requires some careful planning, sacrifices, and some tips on how to manage your time and get the most from your free time and energy. Here are 10 quick ways you can better survive juggling work and study simultaneously.
Plan Your Time
The key to successfully completing studies while you’re working a full-time job is time management. You should start to plan every aspect of your day meticulously, as well as longer-term plans based on your semester requirements and assignment due dates. Make use of different planners to cover different timeframes. Year planners, for example, are essential to plan out when you need to spend more time on your studies. Make use of productivity tools and methods too.
Use Productivity Tools and Methods
There are plenty of well-documented ways to stay organized and use tools and methods to better plan your time and improve your productivity. Using a system like the 43 folders planning system or the GTD (getting things done) method to better space out and prioritize your tasks can go a long way to improving your ability to get everything done. Whichever tools and method you use, you need to live by the mantra of never letting things get out of control and stay on top of things.
Talk to Your Employer
Make sure your employer knows you’re studying part-time and keep them updated about what you need from them to support you. Provided that the studies are related to your role, and they value education, they should be able to make some concessions for you, such as time off to write and study for exams and complete assignments. Your company might also offer some special leave for studies. Talk to them and see how you can work together.
Choose Distance Learning
In recent times, and particularly in response to the COVID19 pandemic, we’ve seen a rise in the use of distance learning and institutions offering distance learning courses. They can be a blessing if you’re working a full-time job because they allow you to study from anywhere, cut out commute time to college campus, and even study in your own time or to your own schedule. If you can, opt for distance learning options like this Online Master in Computer Science from Laurier University to get the absolute most out of your time and schedule.
Many people who are working and studying at the same time tend to sacrifice their sleep first, but this is a critical mistake. We need sleep to rest, recover, and recharge, and getting less of it will seriously mess with our productivity. Always make sure you get a good, peaceful night’s sleep of at least 8 hours and avoid working late into the night. Rather, wake up earlier and work on your studies rested and recharged instead of slogging away at them at 2 o’clock in the morning.
A healthy, balanced diet is a must when you need to be at the top of your game. Don’t opt for easy convenient high fat takeaway options because they might save you some time but you’ll lose that time in lethargy and lost focus from not getting a good healthy balanced diet. Plan your meals or prepare a few days of food in one go and freeze individual meals to maximize the efficiency of the time you spend in the kitchen.
Don’t Waste Your Free Time
When you’re trying to get through a particularly tough assignment or study for an upcoming exam, every minute counts, and you don’t want to waste any of your free time. Whenever you can, use your time to further your preparation or assignments. That means taking advantage of things you do all day that don’t require brainpower to accomplish – like mowing the lawn or washing the dishes. These are perfect times to make use of audio recordings of lectures or textbooks. And don’t forget about your commute too.
Use Your Commute
If you commute to work, don’t waste that time. Most adults spend a good amount of time commuting, and it’s the perfect time to study, even if you’re driving. If you drive, use the time to listen to lectures or audio recordings of textbooks. If you use public transport, use the time to review your notes, read literature, and any other reading tasks you might have to do.
Look After Your Physical Wellbeing
Don’t skip the gym or your daily exercise routine, no matter how tempted you might be. Keeping physically fit also keeps our minds active and our bodies full of energy, which you’ll need to be successful in your studies. Look at other sacrifices you can make.
Decide What to Sacrifice
There’s no way you can work a full-time job and study at the same time without making some real sacrifices. That might mean you’ll have to give up your video game habit or television time for a while or drop out of that weekly poker game with your mates for a few months. The sacrifices will be difficult, but you need to make them if you want to be successful. Just don’t sacrifice time with your family or working out and staying healthy to keep playing that video game.
Studying with a full-time job is all about time management and sacrifices to make time for everything that you need to accomplish and still live a happy, healthy, and balanced life. Always remember that the stress and pressure you might feel while you’re studying and working simultaneously is temporary and always worth it in the long run. Not only will you gain more skills and knowledge, but you’ll also improve your career prospects in the long term.