Whether you’re a student trying to work or a full-time employee trying to advance your education, juggling work and school is a significant challenge. It’s possible to excel as a student and an employee with the right strategy. If a lack of time is keeping you from doing both, take a moment to reconsider.
Try these techniques to manage both school and work:
1. Create a compelling future. You’re taking on a big challenge. Consider why you’re doing it. Keep that big picture in mind when the going gets tough. When you find your enthusiasm starting to wane, come back to your vision for the future and recharge your resolve.
2. Create a strategy. How many hours do you need to attend class and study? How many hours are required for your job? How much stress can you handle? While there are a few people that can attend school full-time while holding down a full-time job, it’s too much for many of us.
3. Create a schedule that makes sense. Do you want to be on campus every day for an hour or two, or would you rather spend a longer period two or three days each week?
- At larger universities, you often have much more flexibility to create a class schedule that conforms to your work schedule.
- Speak to your employer. Many employers are willing to alter your work schedule to accommodate your education. It never hurts to ask.
- Speak to your potential professors. Some professors are very accommodating if you need to miss a class. Others are not. Get a feel for how much flexibility you have regarding attendance.
4. Make a list of potential conflicts. Do you have a dog or other pet that needs daily attention? Do you have a large yard to mow? Do you have children? Determine all the potential obstacles that could stand in your way.
- Consider possible solutions. Perhaps it would help to hire a dog walker, lawn service, or baby sitter.
5. Avoid wasting time. Humans are experts at procrastinating until the last moment and then getting everything done at once. You won’t have the same luxury. Identify the various ways you waste time and distract yourself from your work. It can require a lot of discipline, but learn to say “no” to distractions.
6. Learn to manage your stress. You’re less productive once your stress levels rise beyond a certain point. Learning to control your stress is important if you’re going to get a lot of work done each day. Ensure you get enough sleep and take the breaks you need. A quick, 10-minute break can refresh your brain.
- Get started today to learn a few stress reduction techniques and begin practicing!
7. Focus on being smart rather than busy. It’s possible to be very busy but accomplish little. Spend your time wisely and in a way that will bring the greatest results. You can’t afford to squander your time and energy.
- Make a list of the most important tasks for school and work. Focus your energy on those tasks.
Are you committed to being an employee and a student? You can do both if you set your mind to it and develop an intelligent approach. Create a schedule that works for your situation and treat your time and energy like gold. It’s important to make the most of every moment. You can successfully attend school and work!