One of the hardest things to manage for any college student is time. Time management, proper planning, and a healthy support system can be helpful while dealing with a full-time job and college.
Here are some tips on how to balance college and work without compromising family and other demands.
1. Plan Ahead
Mapping out your days is a great way to keep yourself organized and accountable. In a weekly calendar, write down details such as class and work hours, study time, and social activities. Be purposeful about how you choose to spend your time. When you feel like you won’t be able to make something in time, try to find achievable solutions.
For example, if you feel like you will not be able to revise assignments as planned, try to fit it in as a part of your commute to work or school. Also, if your foreseeable week seems to be too busy, plan meal-prepping to maximize your time the best way possible.
2. Stay On Schedule
Make your schedules interchangeable to see which works best for you. Would it be better to have separate work and school schedules, or will an everything-in-one-place plan keep you more organized? In the long run, the goal is to remain productive without compromising one or the other.
If you tend to procrastinate, write a ten-minute break on paper so you can mark it done after. Overall, make it a habit to get stuff done right away. The trick is to make use of all of the available blocks of time as efficiently as possible.
3. Build a Support System
Full-time work and school can be draining, but supportive friends and family members can lift a weight off your shoulders. Let your close ones know about your schedule and emphasize how important it is to stick to it. Usually, encouragement from people in your life will help you achieve your goals.
However, you need to contribute to relationships too. Communication and compromise are essential in these cases. Negotiate household duties based on your schedule. Spare time so you can spend it with your family or friends throughout the week.
4. Focus On Your Goals
At times you might feel overwhelmed and regret choosing to work and go to school simultaneously. That’s why reminding yourself of your end goals will help you. Whether your reason is to offset student debt or because you’re supporting your family while also getting a degree, remember that the sacrifices you have to make will pay off.
Keep in mind that you can be a high achiever without being a perfectionist. You can strive to do your best; the key is to know your limits.
Multitasking can be a hugely helpful skill if done right. Mixing work and school might not be the smartest move, since it can lead to mediocre results in both. The trick is to maximize your time when there is a chance to do different tasks at once.
For example, you can exercise or go grocery shopping with your significant other or child to catch up and spend time together. While on the ride to work or school, you can listen to audio lectures or read assignments. Another thing you can do is to have your kids do homework at the same time as you.
6. Set Boundaries—For School And Family Life
Keeping your work and school life separate from your personal life—especially if you’re working from home— can help you achieve the best results. This means not studying when you should be working, or let work interfere with quality family time. Setting boundaries comes back to managing your time effectively.
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Manage your study load systematically and practice saying no to hanging out when you have tasks that need to be completed that day. Also, creating a study space will help you complete assignments on time and avoid distractions. This will remind you to not think about school when you should be spending time with family.
7. Ask For Help When Needed
When balancing work and college, one of the most important things is communicating with your coworkers, managers, professors, and advisors about all that you have on your plate. You can also get additional help from a tutor or through a study lab.
If you have family obligations, discuss changes in your schedule and vocalize that you might need help with babysitting, getting a paid caretaker, or assisted living. Tune your family in with the benefits that will await them too upon your graduation.
8. Break The Routine Once In A While
Having a break every now and then will make you more efficient in your daily tasks. Without time off, you risk burning out and being overly exhausted. It’s easy to overlook your wellness when you are balancing multiple things at the same time. Indulge in a self-care day, watch your favorite show, or read a book for fun.
Whether you’re getting a degree in business or working towards a data science degree, being a full-time worker and student requires balance. This task is by no means an easy one. However, with hard work and self-discipline, you will be able to accomplish your goals. We hope these tips will help you on this journey. Good luck!