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.
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.
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.