Are you thinking about going back to school to improve yourself further? Are you a full-time employee who is also thinking of taking up a college course? Before you go back to the (virtual) classroom, stop and think about your work-school balance.
70% of full-time college students are also working students. Many people feel that going to school and work at the same time will help them do more in a short time. However, if you don’t balance work and school well, it can end up a disaster more than a life hack.
In this guide, we’ll discuss some tips to help you balance work and school.
Know Your Priorities
A day in the life of a working student can be hectic or relaxed. This will depend on your courses, what time of the term it is, and where you work. For example, if you work in an office environment and go to law school, chances are you’ll get burnout sooner.
If you’re in a similar case, one of the key skills you need to develop is prioritizing. One way of learning how to do this is to create a list of your tasks. Rearrange them by most important or most urgent.
As you go through your day, put all your focus on the top-most item in the list until it’s done. Move to the next one until you finish the whole list. Don’t multitask, since dividing your focus can take up more time than focusing on one thing.
How good are you at prioritizing your tasks and focusing on your top-most priorities? If you’re great at it, that’s good. It means you’re one step closer to mastering the art of balancing work and school.
Organize Everything and Make Adjustments as Needed
Another trick to learning how to balance work and school is to stay organized. Plan your schedules for the day, week, and month. Organizing your day, week, or month helps you ensure your daily workload for school and your job gets done.
Use your smartphone’s built-in calendar or an organization app. If you prefer having a physical schedule on you, put everything down on a bullet journal or planner. Don’t forget to make time for social activities, study time, and self-care.
It also helps to be a little flexible with your time. Your scheduled appointments or tasks won’t always go according to plan. Don’t commit everything in your calendar to stone and make adjustments as needed.
Develop Better Time Management
If you want to learn to balance work and school, a crucial skill to develop is smart time management. This is especially vital if you plan to enroll in an online healthcare school. Courses like Physics, Architecture, Accounting, and more are also demanding picks.
If you plan to study and work at the same time, you must know how to manage your time. There will be times when 24 hours aren’t enough hours in a day. There will also be rare moments when 24 hours will feel like a week.
You must also understand that your time and your classmates’ times are different. You will have friends who seem to have all the time in the world to study, socialize, party, work, and travel. Master your time first, and you may have enough of it to experience the same things later.
Surround Yourself With the Right People
Peer pressure is a powerful force. Your friends from work or school can encourage you to do things you’ll regret. For example, they’ll invite you to attend a party instead of studying or going to work.
Avoid people like this, and don’t let them influence you to neglect your work and studies. Instead, gravitate toward people who know how to handle their time well. You can’t control the people around you, but you can let them know your priorities and avoid them.
If you must be alone to better focus on your schoolwork and job, be alone.
That isn’t to say that you should throw your social life or self-care out of the window. As we mentioned, when you’re taking up school and work, you need to know how to organize your schedule.
Stay Connected to Your Support Network
Working as a student can be quite stressful, especially if you don’t have a support system in place. Everybody needs someone to talk to, spend their downtime with, and care for them. Often, your support network includes your family, close friends, and romantic partner.
They are the people who do little things for you to show their support. For example, your mother may call you to check in on you or send over your favorite comfort food. A friend or partner may pick you up from work and drive you to school on a busy day.
Keep in touch with these people in your life. Don’t forget to send them a message or call now and then, too. Let them know that you appreciate their support.
Balance School With Work When You Optimize Your Learning
As a student, you also have to be critical of yourself and your learning style. Does the typical classroom-type teaching work best for you? Do you remember your lessons better if you verbalize or tell others about what you learned?
Optimize your learning by playing to your learning style. If you remember lessons best by teaching them to others, talk about them to a willing co-worker or pet. Also, learn the best ways to react to criticism thrown at you.
It’s okay to study while at work if it’s reasonable to do so. However, if your job also demands a presence of mind and focus, give it the necessary focus. You don’t want your head to be stuck in the classroom if you’re also working as a safety officer or EMT.
Balance Work and School Today
Whether you’re a student getting a job or a worker taking up school again, balance is a necessity. Time management, stress management, and prioritization are key factors in balancing work and school.
Do you want to learn more about how to take more control of your time to help you balance work and school? Check out our other guides today for more content like this.