If you’re trying to juggle college with full-time employment, it can feel like it’s just you against the clock, 24/7. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done – because it can and plenty of people have done it before you. It just means you have to be ready and willing to dedicate the time needed and to give it your full commitment. Needless to say, you’ll need to get organised and be ruthless with your diary to make sure you do what needs to be done. But it’ll be worth it – after all it’s only for a year or two and it’s done!
While it can seem daunting, just remember it is doable and try to picture all the benefits you’ll see from all your hard work when it’s all said and done! Maybe you’ll finally get that promotion, or make that career switch you’ve always dreamed of – or be your own boss.
Here are a few of our top tips for making sure you not only survive working full time and studying at the same time but flourish – it can be done!
1. Create Your Own Study Sanctuary
Having the right set up can make a huge difference to how you work. Be sure to set up a space that allows you to block out distractions and really get down to business. You’ll need a desk and a good chair first and foremost and you’ll need tech; a computer at least – but after that feel free to get creative!
Set up a bulletin board so you can keep all deadlines and tasks in plain sight and maybe even a motivational quote or a picture of your favourite meme! Even while studying a quick little pick-me-up like glancing at that can give you a new burst of energy when you really need it.
Learning spaces should be kept clean and organised, as the saying goes – a cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind… So make it easy for yourself!
2. Make Organisation a Priority
When your juggling the many responsibilities of working full time and studying it can be way too easy to get overwhelmed and drop the ball… Avoid this by getting organised, know what you have to do and when you have to do it by and that’s half the battle.
But you’ll need certain tools to do this so work out what will work for you. Make to do lists, get a planner, even download one of the thousands of apps available out there to keep you on track and stay focussed on what you need to achieve each week.
3. Don’t Waste Your Time
Working full time while studying will open your eyes to just how precious time really is. So to make use out of it and not waste a single drop, start scheduling all your time – not just study time. Get into the nitty gritty of it – whether it’s work time, study time, family commitments or even time to just relax, schedule it!
By doing this you can begin to understand just how much time you have left to play around with and maybe some areas where you can see you’re really just burning time with no benefit to yourself or the people you really care about. If that’s the case – cut back on these activities and recognise that some stuff will just have to go – but you know what; most of that is prob things you should have stopped doing before anyway – now you’ve got a great excuse.
4. Take Care of Yourself Too
Now just because you have undertaken a difficult path; that doesn’t mean the next year or two of your life is going to be all work and no play… That’s a one-way ticket to a burnout and nobody wants that!
So, make sure to take time for yourself too, whether that’s reading a book or watching an episode of your favourite Netflix show (but don’t give in to the temptation to binge – Be Strong!) Making time for yourself to relax and clear your head of all things work and study related is essential to keep you both motivated and productive.
Whether it’s a scheduled break or you’ve just hit a wall while studying, take a breath, turn off your computer and walk away from your desk for a breather. In fact; do walk. Walking outdoors has many proven health benefits, it costs nothing, you don’t have to arrange it with anyone and you never know – often people’s greatest thoughts or ideas come to them when they’re out walking with time to think in a more relaxed, clear way. But if walking isn’t your thing; find the equivalent and go for it!
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
If you’re really struggling and finding it hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel – don’t bury you’re head in the sand. Talk to your Boss, talk to your Tutors and talk to your friends and family about it. They’re input might surprise you and may even refresh your approach or way of thinking!
Who knows maybe your boss will offer to lighten your workload temporarily or a Tutor can help you work through a topic that you’ve been struggling to nail down. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know…
Hopefully after reading this you feel more ready and willing to take on the challenge that is working full time and studying. While it isn’t going to be easy, it sure will be worth it at the end when you’re holding that qualification in your hand. Dream on – it can be a reality!