Combining work and study demands planning, focus and dedication. But it can be done; plenty of people hold down a full-time job while studying in their spare time. Some even have families as well! Here are some helpful hints for combining work and study without exhausting yourself …
1. Schedule and Plan
The first step in effectively combining work and study is to organise your schedule. Organise your studying according to your free time and submission dates for assignments. If you can see that Saturday is the best time for you to work, put that time aside and try not to be distracted by invitations out, TV or surfing the internet. You need to be focused in order to get your assignments done.
2. Tell Your Tutors
If you are studying at night school, your tutors will likely already be aware that you are combining work with study. It's a good idea though to have a chat with them to make them aware of your situation. Once they know, they may be able to offer you some flexibility regarding deadlines and make things easier for you.
3. Delegate Chores
Work, study and household chores are a lot to be dealing with. It's simply not possible to cram too many commitments into your day. So get your family to help you out at home (which they should be doing already!). If they deal with most of the chores like cleaning, cooking and clearing up, you'll be able to get on with your studies. It's to everyone's advantage for you to improve your prospects, so they should support your studies.
4. Study at Work
Take advantage of whatever free time you have at work to do some reading or write some notes. If your job involves periods of having little to do, your employers may be amenable to you using the time to study. At the very least you have a lunch hour that you can make use of, and if you commute by train that is also a good opportunity to study.
5. Get Ahead
Get ahead in your studies whenever you can. Then if you hit a busy period at work and need to stay late, you don't have to rush to finish an assignment. Leaving it until later means that you'll either submit work below the standard you're capable of, or end up missing sleep in order to complete the work. That's fine if you're a full-time student, but not if you have to go to work the next day!
6. Don't Overstretch Yourself
If you're studying while you work, avoid taking on too much. Spreading yourself too thinly will most likely mean that you don't do anything efficiently. So focus your attention on your primary commitments. Other things can wait for a while. If you're one of those people who finds it hard to refuse requests, learn to say no, you don't have the time!
You will likely have to make some sacrifices for your studies. There isn't enough time to fit in a full-time job, studying and multiple hobbies. See it as a short-term concession so that you can achieve your goals. It's certainly important to build in some leisure time, but pick the activities that matter to you most.
Combining studying and working is hard work but very rewarding. Just think how amazing you'll feel when you pass your course! You may not have much spare time, and groan at the thought of writing essays after a long day at work, but it'll be worth it in the end. If you've been a working student, how did you manage to cope?