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How to Effectively Manage Your Time Between Work and Study

Working and studying at the same time is enough to make anybody’s life hectic. Constantly switching off from one thing and on to the other leaves very little time for anything else, and most of us have homes to keep in order and sleep to fit in too.

You probably already have a few favourite strategies for managing their responsibilities, but some tips and methods are almost universally helpful. Read the following pointers and take into consideration the ones that will work for you.

Manage Your Time with Schedules

Merging different commitments is difficult, especially ones that have different timetables – those in employment often have set hours, while studying can be a mix of set class times and independent work.  If you are job hunting while studying, you can be flexible with it—except for interviews, which often require you to drop all other appointments.

A written or online calendar is an excellent tool for those juggling study with work or job hunting.  Put in all of the non-negotiable things like classes, shifts, and interviews, then schedule in good blocks of time for the things that are flexible but need doing, such as revising for tests.  Putting time aside for particular tasks is so important, as managing your time “on the fly” can often lead to procrastination and pushing things back indefinitely. There are so many calendar and scheduling apps available, as well as good old paper diaries. While some people don’t consider themselves to be good at setting or following a particular schedule, keeping checklists become a necessity during busy seasons of life.

Nip Procrastination in the Bud

Putting things off several times in a row is all too easy.  When you feel as if you have run out of time to complete your tasks, procrastination becomes a real issue. Forbes has some suggestions to combat procrastination, and we have listed a few top tips to prevent it:

● Allow yourself breaks: The thought of four hours straight studying is enough to make you can the idea altogether and turn on the TV.  Instead, commit to 45 minutes of work and 15 minutes of something else.
● Envision your future self: Thinking about how you will feel going to bed that night having completed your tasks – versus having achieved nothing from your list – can motivate you to get started, and keep going.
● Get yourself set up: Ease gently into your ‘big and scary’ task. Start by just setting yourself up for it: ready your workspace, open the online resources or books you will need, and finish preparatory details such as writing your name and contact details at the beginning of a cover letter.  Once everything is ready to go, beginning the task itself is a much easier prospect.

Treat Yourself

There’s nothing more motivating than a reward – a carrot on a stick to bribe you to put in work.  Once upon a time, your parents might have done the bribing, but as adults, we must do it to ourselves.

You know yourself best, so can decide on a treat that will push you to put in the work.  It might be some delicious food, as simple as your favourite takeaways for dinner, or an item you’ve been coveting.  Booking an experience to look forward to once the job or exam is done is a great option, and that could be anything from a movie to something extravagant like a weekend break to Barcelona.

Whichever way you choose to manage your time and motivate yourself to work and study, we wish you the best in juggling commitments – it’s worth the effort!

Many thanks to our guest blogger Allison Hail for taking the time to put together these useful work and study tips.

Author’s bio:

For Allison Hail, bliss comes in the form of a good book and a glass of her all-time favourite strawberry smoothie.  When not immersed reading, she spends most of her time writing articles for different blogs, sites and local businesses.  Visit Allison’s Perspective to see more of her work.

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66 responses

  1. Great blog!
    Thank you for sharing this, it becomes extremely hard to work and study especially two jobs!
    I really agree on the fact that you need to allow yourself breaks otherwise you will burn out and not want to do anything!

  2. Thanks for sharing this, I can particularly relate to the procrastination section. I think the key is to be organized, make a plan of when you will study and stick to it!

  3. Very inspiring page! At this stage in life I sometimes feel that I have too many dishes on my table, so being able to organize efficiently the time results in less stress and more productive time spent doing the different tasks.
    I totally agree in allowing yourself some nice treats as a reword for a good job!

  4. Thank you for sharing. Helpful blog especially the tip on scheduling time aside and remembering to take a break!

  5. Useful tips, thanks – I’m finding the balance between work and studying especially hard at the moment

  6. Great blog. Thank you for sharing! I can relate to the procrastination section all too well. It can get very overwhelming trying to study alongside working 2 jobs! Will definitely try out some of these tips and see if they help!

  7. Really found this blog useful – I’m definitely guilty of procrastinating! Thanks for all the useful tips and tricks!

  8. I found this blog super helpful, especially the part on procrastination which is probably my biggest downfall. Eeek! But the tips on taking breaks and treating yourself I found really helpful

  9. I can relate to all the points within this blog and the key for me is to set aside specific time and not let myself get distracted.

  10. I definitely find treating myself after completing a task good for getting things done! As well as allowing myself guilt free breaks.

  11. Readying my workspace was definitely the motivator I needed to get on with my course. I only get a proper chance to study on a Monday, so having a dedicated comfy workspace (conveniently very close to the kettle!) has been a lifesaver in getting the work done!

  12. A really motivational read. I particular liked the Nip Procrastination in the Bud section – this is one of my biggest downfalls!!

  13. I have tried out these pointers as I was really bad at procrastination, especially when there was a job that I wasn’t looking forward to completing! By taking a little brain break or chatting with work colleagues,I found I was able to knuckle down and get the job done. Thank you for sharing this!

  14. This has been a really helpful article. I really struggle to balance everything so will be taking some tips from this 🙂

  15. I too am working and studying at the same time, plus looking after a family and running a home – each thing on it’s own is time consuming let alone throwing them altogether!
    For me I have found that studying for a couple of hours early on a weekend works as I am not tired from a days work and feel fresh and it doesn’t take up precious family time. It then frees up the day and it feels good that I have achieved something before most people are even awake!

  16. Great advise, I couldn’t agree more about the scheduling – it is so important if you want to manage your time right.

  17. I found this blog very helpful with some interesting tips on how to snap out of procrastinating and getting the tasks completed so I feel satisfied.

  18. Good advise, I think setting aside a time to study is really important and helps you to focus on getting the work done.

  19. Thanks for sharing, really interesting and great ideas. Working from home at the moment so this gives me plenty of me time to study.

  20. This Blog is really helpful. I have found some these ideas really useful in working and studying at the same time!
    I like the idea of giving managing your time with schedules and setting certain times aside to complete assignments or study!

  21. Thanks for sharing – there are some really helpful ideas in this article.
    I’m currently home schooling my 13 year old due to Covid 19, listening to my screaming 1 year old most days as she is teething and working part time in my local hospital. So I was feeling like I was getting no where with studying and just having a constant headache instead!

  22. Having only just started my studies at the beginning of the year this something that I do worry about so this article was very helpful

  23. Thank you for sharing your blog – I always struggle with time, as I am doing so many things at once.
    I have read some good tips, that I now need to put into good practice !

  24. Great blog, I used to procrastinate but now I am on top of my game. I wake up first thing in the morning and do my studies as this helps me balance my day.

  25. Great Blog! In particular, I really found the tips on procrastination useful, something I have been guilty of doing from time to time. I like the idea of ‘Treating yourself’ once you have achieved specific tasks/goals, it is something I will definitely put into practice.
    Thank you for sharing!

  26. I found this blog relates to my own circumstance at this time. I am working and studying as well as keeping a home, time can be sparce if you do not make adequate time management preparations. My online calendar is an excellent way to plan my study time and with learning how to add this within my course, I must say it has been an excellent reminder tool. Also to make time for breaks, this is important to treat yourself between periods of study, work and home life. Thank you for writing this blog, I found it really made sense to me and my current situation, I have also learned some more useful mechanisms that I can use.

  27. Picked up some good habits by practising the tips suggested in this blog, such as scheduling regular mental breaks which do help.
    I also finally made the transition from the good old paper diary to electronic by trying out some of the Time-Management Apps. It was difficult at first but has definitely saved me time and allowed me to focus and prioritise in order of importance.

  28. What a great blog, with some really useful tips! I loved the bit about envisioning your future self once all of your tasks are done.

  29. Thank you for sharing this, I can particularly relate to the procrastination section. It is so important to plan in breaks, organise your time by planning ahead and also treating yourself. I will often get a piece of work done more efficiently and with more motivation if I know I have a treat once completed!

  30. Interesting blog with helpful hints and tips. Like many others, I too work full time and have a young family, so balancing both work and home life can be difficult before I can even start studying. I have found the best time for me to try and get course work done is later on in the evening when my children have gone to bed and I have some peace and quiet, weekends are a no-go as there are too many interruptions and noise! I will definitely keep the treat part in mind for the future!

  31. A great read and some good tips. It was good to read that working for 45 minutes and breaking is a good thing to do.

  32. This has been a really interesting and timely read for me. Juggling home, work and study time is difficult and procrastinating is too easy when something crops up. I had been sitting down for hours at a time with no breaks to go through my study. I am going to try the 45/15 minute study/break ratio and see how that helps with information retention. Thank you.

  33. This is good advice. Nipping procrastination in the bud is the most challenging part of studying while working. I have found that rewarding yourself for doing the work is the best way to motivate yourself!

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