Managing a full time job and study may be the only option for a number of persons due to financial and family commitments. One enormous advantage of working and studying it that it gives you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience while pursuing an education.
In addition, if you are currently working at a junior level within the area of your study, you have a foot in the door. This could open opportunities for a promotion or even makes finding another job easier within the industry.
Despite these advantages, managing a full time job and study is no easy undertaking. You may grow weary and lose heart during the process whether you are an on-campus or distance learning student. There is no such thing as perfect balance!
There will be times when the demands of the job will take priority over studies and vice versa. However, the key to achieving optimum performance in both areas requires time management and discipline.
The following are 10 tips that can help you to better manage studying while having a full time job.
- Finding a designated study areas
- Eliminate distractions
- Maximise Bank holidays and vacation leave
- Get an accountability partner
- Make great notes
- Set deadlines
- Reward yourself
Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
Planning is pivotal to maintaining a definite schedule and consistency. This will ensure that you accomplish all the things that have a demand on your time.
Since you are working and studying, it is best to start assignments and projects as early as possible. You may not have the luxury of time to catch up if you start late.
You may need to manage getting up early in the morning or staying up late at night to complete assignments.
It’s vital to prepare and maintain a schedule of activities such as time to pray. You already know the hours that you need to work. Allocate time as well to take care of personal things and rest.
Use of a diary as well as productivity planning tools such as Trello and Asana could be helpful. Schedule out and break down your tasks into actionable steps to reduce overwhelm.
Find a designated study area
Do you have an area where you can go and be focused? It is critical that you are comfort and relax while studying.
As an example, I have always been a library person and find it difficult to study at home. To achieve maximum output, I rather go to the library in an environment where there is little noise.
This has paid of tremendously for me as oppose to studying at home.
During study time especially it is necessary to eliminate distractions that can keep you from being productive.
Some of these distractions can be the television, email and the mobile phone. RescueTime is a software that you can install that can track your habits so you can understand where you spend your time.
One thing that I have done to eliminate distractions is I do not go to the library with my mobile phone. This helps me a lot since I am not tempted to check every message that comes to my device. This helps my productivity.
There are usually small pockets of time where you may be able multi task. For example, if there is material that you may need to learn that is available in audio format you can listen to it while you cook in the afternoon.
You can also utilise commuting time on the bus for example to review notes.
If you are more advanced in your career and travel for business, you can cover tremendous ground on a flight. Look at your schedule for times where you can do two things at once and use it.
Maximise bank holidays and vacation leave
Managing a full time job and study is a huge sacrifice as they are both demanding ventures. For a period of time there may be vacation leave and bank holidays where you time will not be solely allocated to leisure.
To achieve anything in life does require a season of sacrifice. Bank holidays and vacation leave may be useful time to schedule around examinations so that you can put final touches on your preparation.
Focus is the key to staying on track especially during the periods when the weight of the journey gets heavy. There will be days when you will prefer to lounge around the house than study.
Let your vision be your motivator on the days when you are just tired or discouraged and want to go no further. Push yourself even harder on those days. Complete an easier task if you need to slow down the pace.
Join study groups
Study groups can be tricky. These must be chosen carefully. They can be a great help to you if they are productive.
On the other hand, they can waste a significant amount of time if they are unproductive. Having a colleague who is in same programme as you can be an asset. Both parties can help clarify misunderstandings and teach each other
Some schools for example have groups that maintain online forums and chats. Finding a balance in using this method is really a personal preference. Groups can be an asset or a source of discouragement. It’s easy in group environments for comparison to step in.
There may be members of the group that are leaps and miles ahead of you. If you find yourself getting discouraged in the group, then its best to leave so you can conserve your energy and run your race.
Get an accountability partner
Use your friends and family around you to cheer you on and to hold you accountable. Let them know your schedule and timelines and what you are working on. I rely a lot on my father for accountability when I am studying. He reminds me constantly to complete a task and holds me to deadlines.
An accountability partner also may be another friend who is studying. Someone who is doing a completely different programme can be an accountability partner.
You both could go to the library together or even study together and support each other through the journey.
Make great notes
Making detailed notes can be the key as it helps in quick revision especially coming around to examination time. It may seem time consuming handwriting things could aid in recalling and retaining material.
Setting deadlines can be the key to helping you to achieve study goals especially in distance learning. Studying long distance requires a greater measure of discipline.
A deadline ensures that completion of a particular task does not drag on for longer than it should. Don’t be too hard if you don’t meet the deadline but challenge yourself by working towards specific dates.
Take breaks in and between or buy yourself something nice when you have achieved a goal that you have set.
Rest is necessary at intervals so you can recharge and reset. Having a nice treat is always a good pick me up along the journey.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also find article entitled 12 Great Tips For Being A Successful Distance Learning Student valuable. Feel free to click the previous link to explore.
Managing a full time job and study can be a challenging period in your life. However, if you plan, prepare well and consider some of the pointers above, it reduce the stress that can come from completing both work and study simultaneously.
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