Statistics Canada says that 72% of students hold part-time jobs while going to school. But combining education and employment is not for everyone and balancing the two can be quite tricky. Study and work both can take up an ample amount of time and leave very little time for personal stuff. This is one of the major issues a student faces. So the question is: How to balance study, work, and personal life?
Let’s dive into our top seven tips for balancing work, school, and personal life.
1. Develop a plan of attack.
Here’s when you start planning how many hours you need to work to meet your financial commitments. Do you want to get through your studies as quickly as possible, or are you the slow and steady type? Think about your personality, goals, and responsibilities, and develop a realistic plan for making it happen.
2. Schedule proactively.
Mark upcoming professional and academic deadlines on a single calendar. Plan for sudden work crises or last-minute overtime requests so you will leave an extra room for the unexpected. Block off enough study time so you can adjust if necessary and communicate your schedule to friends and family for a more peaceful social time.
3. Work/school flexibility.
If necessary, ask your boss about flextime or reduced hours. Find a part-time schedule that fits your needs while at the same time, capitalize on school flexibility too. More and more colleges are tailoring services to workers’ schedules via night and weekend classes, extended library and bookstore hours, and kid-friendly study halls. The current online learning and working from home situation is something that can you take advantage of as well.
4. Work smarter, not harder.
Cram in extra study time by writing study notes on index cards, taking them along, and studying in small intervals during your breaks instead of longer time blocks. Tape lectures and listen to them during your daily commute. Do homework during spares rather than in the evening.
5. Avoid multitasking and distractions
The problem with multi-tasking is that it consumes more of your energy than usual and, in many cases, it’s proven that it actually ends up taking more time to finish those individual tasks. The best way to complete a task is to finish it and then move to another one. Taking breaks is of course ok, as you don’t want to drain out all your energies; however, try not to do everything at the same time.
In relation to multitasking, most of us get distracted from time to time by using social media or checking our mobile phones all the time. These things can distract you from the work you may be doing and can take a lot more time than usual to finish tasks. At the end of the day, when you are not done with particular tasks, this may leave you stressed. So, the focus is very important to complete one task and move to another.
6. Watch for signs of burnout.
If your job performance or academic results begins to flag, take action. Falling asleep in class, drinking excessive amounts of caffeine, losing interest in your job or studies, or becoming irritable and unable to concentrate are important warning signs of burnout.
7. Pamper yourself
Some simple and inexpensive ways college students can renew their energy include reading a good book, watching a funny movie or TV show, taking a walk, going to the gym, having a meal with a friend, or even the simple act of taking a nice bubble bath.
Finding ways to escape from the daily grind will help you function more productively once when you return to work you will undoubtedly have to wait. Even though finding this balance can be challenging, the positive effect it will have on your overall health and wellness will be more than worth the effort.