Deciding that you want to undertake study is a big decision and there are important questions to consider. What am I going to study? Do I have the availability? Can I continue to work at the same time? The good news is that it is very possible to work and study at the same time, if you follow a few proven steps to help guide your success.
Organisation is key to a clear mind
Being organised will become one of the greatest benefits to you once you have chosen to take on extra study. Many tools can help you to stay focused and organised when you are juggling so many things, such as:
- Calendars: Create a calendar for your everyday work and life activities, including staff functions, family events, birthdays and social gatherings. Have a second calendar for study purposes. Schedule when assignments are due and when you are going to study for a subject. Alternatively, opt for one calendar and colour coordinate your events, i.e. Write life and social events in blue, work functions in black, and your study and assignments in red.
- Time limits: Set time boundaries for yourself so that you have time to get everything done. Dedicate one hour to study, then one hour to exercise, to make dinner, or spend time with a friend.
- Clean workspace: Your desk is where much of your work will take place, so make sure it isn’t covered with stacks of paper or old coffee mugs. A clean space with notepads and folders for each subject will help you compartmentalise your tasks and feel organised. It makes a big difference!
Embrace the ability to study online
In the age of technology, information and knowledge are readily available at our fingertips. So much so that it is now possible to study online, part-time or full-time, and work while you study to achieve your dreams.
Whether you want to advance your skills or have decided on a career change, studying online is a great option. It is the perfect solution for anyone who wishes to continue to work and doesn’t have time to travel to a higher-education campus to attend traditional and structured lectures or classes.
You are also able to study online in a time frame that is convenient for you. You won’t be subject to the pressure of making it to an early morning lecture or countless tutorials a week.
Make balance a priority
Finding balance in life is important generally, but especially when you need to manage work and study with your everyday life. It is crucial that you don’t lose touch of the things that are important to you when you take on study whilst working full-time. If you tend to put the things you enjoy on the back-burner, it can lead to feeling run-down, low on energy and less happy.
The solution is to prioritise. If you like to exercise, then make time every day, even if it is 20 or 30 minutes, to go for a walk, or to do a quick session at the gym. If cooking is your thing, then when it comes to dinner, put everything away and spend that time preparing something that will feed your body and your mind. If you want time to read a book or watch a movie, then put your phone and computer away in the evening and devote that time to relaxation. It is possible to do the things you love and still work and study at the same time – you simply must be dedicated, and you must prioritise what matters.
Learn how to ask for help
The first thing you need to learn isn’t how to login to your course, it’s how to ask for help. If you are struggling with the work aspect of a work/study balance,approach your boss and let them know. Often they will be understanding of your goals and help you in any way they can, especially if you are seeking further study to improve your quality of work and skills with their company. Honesty is truly the best policy, and if you don’t tell people you need help, you will never get help.
Working full-time and taking on study can be overwhelming, and some days it might feel like you can’t cope with it all. By getting organised, choosing to study online and finding balance in life, it is certainly achievable. To succeed, focus on your graduation date and on how good you’ll feel for accomplishing your goals.