Whether it is a part-time job at your local café or an internship at your dream company, working while studying comes with a lot of perks. Besides the additional pocket money, you also get to make more connections and gain new experiences. Not to mention the chance to learn new skills and hone your existing ones.
Having said that, working while studying also comes with its own challenges. Not just study-life balance anymore, work also has to be incorporated into the equation. You will need a lot of adjustments and a lot more commitment to do well with your work and studies, while also maintaining your physical and mental health.
Although the journey would certainly not be easy, there are always ways to make it slightly more bearable. Here we have concluded some tips to balance your three-way scale of life, work, and study. Let’s check it out!
Set your goal
Before you even start looking for a job, it is important to allow yourself some time to think about why you are doing this. Aligning yourself with the true reason for your decision to work while studying will be particularly beneficial in the long run. This is because when things get tough and the fire within you starts to dwindle, your intentions would be the added firewood that helps your fire burn stronger and longer.
Rather than just carving your reason in your heart, it is better also to put it somewhere you can see often. Making a vision board and hanging it on your bedroom wall can be one option. Though setting it as a wallpaper or a widget on your beloved phone is also a way to go.
The last thing you want along your journey is the added stress of working on an assignment hours before the deadline or even missing the said deadline. So, to make sure it never happens, you have to start planning things out.
While the word planning itself might sound all too complicated, the reality is, it’s pretty straightforward once you start doing it. You can start by adding fixed important dates to your calendar and add other important events around them as you go. You can also create a more detailed weekly or daily to-do list, if needed.
It is highly beneficial for you to write or type your schedule down instead of just depending on your memory. Today, many tools can help you organize your schedule through your phone or your trusted laptop. Besides making sure you never miss anything; you can also have a better picture of what your week or month would be like.
Walk the talk
Being able to follow through with your commitments is vital, not just for this part of your life but also in the future. This is where people would judge your accountability and whether you are worthy of the position that you are given.
More than just putting it on your calendar, what’s more important is to actually follow the schedule that you have planned. You have to learn to be able to say no. Not only to clashing invitations, but also the ones that would compromise your coming schedule.
Know your limit, but don’t let it limit you
Along with your work and school schedule, planning a daily downtime is also important. Because, despite your thinking that you can still power through another hour or two of work, your body might think otherwise. Making sure that you are healthy by resting and taking beneficial vitamins is already half the battle.
Despite so, you also can’t make excuses in the name of your limitations to get out of doing your obligations. For example, because you have a lot of meetings, it does not mean that you can abandon your assignment due that day. Be diligent with your planning to give your best not just for your work and studies, but also for yourself.
Be open with your employer
Once you start putting down your plans, you’ll notice that maybe some assignment deadline or a class would clash with your work, and vice versa. Should the circumstances just don’t allow you to make the given schedule work, what you can do is have a conversation with your employer regarding the issue. By doing this, you can maybe start your work a bit later or have a more flexible schedule throughout the week to accommodate your work and studies.
You can also make good use of your annual leave, should you be provided with it. Don’t forget to plan your leave ahead, maybe catch a breath or catch up on your schoolwork and communicate that to your supervisor or manager.
Time is money
With you being paid at work and paying a huge amount for your education, it is essential that your efforts are worthy of the money you are receiving and the ones you spend. Working hard, while it is good, would be better if you pair it with working smart. You have to know the resources and support you have and how to use them to your advantage.
More than that, using each specific time wisely is also important. This means restricting yourself from distractions, so you can have a higher quality of working time, despite the short quantity. Don’t forget to use the tools available on your phone, tablets, or favorite laptop, to boost your productivity.
Celebrate the little things
Celebrating the little wins you gained throughout the day is how you balance your life scale. You do not need to wait for others’ validation in any shape or form before you can feel like you have accomplished something. Instead, start validating your own self because you know best how much effort you have given to each thing that you do.
Whether it is only another project is done well or just a productive day well spent, do not forget to give yourself a pat on the back. Make sure to take the time to appreciate yourself by catching up over meals with your friends, taking a long bath after work, or maybe another episode of your favorite series.
Balancing your personal time with working and studying is certainly no easy feat. However, much like a battle, it is not always about charging through but also about knowing when to back down and allowing yourself some time to recover. It is normal to feel overwhelmed, but don’t be alarmed. You will get to know yourself better along the way, and thus will be able to make wiser decisions for yourself.