Studying when you have a full-time job can be very hectic and time-consuming. You may have taken up that course to add a qualification which can elevate you in your career path and open up new opportunities, for example, a bigger job at another company or a promotion. Whatever the case, the following are helpful tips on how to strike a balance between working full time and studying:
1. Make a Plan
This is by far the most important thing you need to do. Making a plan involves writing down your deadlines, for example, for exams or submission of an assignment. Then, you’ll also need to plan the dates you will spend reading for your module. This will help you greatly in getting ahead of your game.
2. Follow up on the Dates
You need to constantly remind yourself of the important dates that you’ve noted so you don’t miss anything. It will help if you write the dates in a place where you can see them. Often, a good idea is to stick a timetable on your office computer.
3. Create Some Study Time
Here you will need some discipline. You will need to set aside some time every week for your personal study. It is obvious that you may be very busy at work and sometimes, in the evening, you will need to have a rest or to follow up on some personal issues. However, commit some time to your studies so that you’re up to date on all your coursework.
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4. Best Time to Study
We are all different and we prefer to study at different times of the day. If you’re an early riser and you grasp concepts better early in the morning, then schedule that to be your reading time. If you’re productive in the later hours, set up a time to study then. You can choose to have a few hours of study or take a break in between.
5. Best Studying Environment
It is paramount that you find a good place to study. For most people, this would be a place that’s quiet so you can concentrate. This can be difficult if you have a full-time job. You can try hacking it by coming into work earlier so that you’ll have little distractions or you can stay in for a few more hours after work. If you’re studying at home, then you may need to turn off the TV and any other distractions. You can even go to a library near you. The peace and quiet will enable you to study well and even work on your assignments. You need to fully grasp what you’re studying in order to get an A on your paper.
6. Constant Self-Motivation
It’s important to constantly keep yourself motivated in order to study while working. Constantly remind yourself why you decided to take that course and what you hoped to gain from it. Motivation is important as it re-energizes you and keeps you on track.
7. Inform Your Boss
Tell your boss about the new qualification that you’re getting. Your boss may be able to provide you with the support that you need and will be happy to know that you’re taking a step for your personal development. Your boss will also be the one to excuse you if you have to take an exam.
8. Strike a Balance
With this busy schedule of studying while working, you’ll need to strike a balance and take good care of yourself. It’s easy to get anxious and burn out due to all the work you will have to do. Always aim to stay calm and focused and take time off to relax, eat healthily and exercise, and go out with your friends and family. Taking breaks helps you stay focused and reenergized.
9. Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
You will have to meet deadlines both from work and your study. You will, therefore, need a lot of time to handle everything. You may be asked to join a work party or a meeting with friends. Don’t be afraid to turn them down when you need all the time on your hands. It’s the best thing to do.
However, it is also important to note that you should not ignore any problems. If you have an emergency at home or at work, be sure to communicate it with your course supervisor or boss in order to find a solution.
10. Be Careful Not to Overdo It
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. If you know you have a lot of work to handle at your job, then check on the coursework that you can do for that semester. Be keen to determine the number of classes you can comfortably manage and be realistic while at it. Don’t add much if you already have a busy schedule at work as there is a lot of expectations and challenges in that line. Good scheduling and forecasting will enable you to manage your studies well so you can perform well both at work and at your studies.
In order to pull this off, strive to come up with a plan and stick to it to manage the difficult tasks ahead. Remember to not be too hard on yourself. Take it easy, one step at a time. Don’t be afraid, you can do it!