So you’ve decided to go down this path full of incredible challenges – continuing studies while having a job. Do you think you can do it? The answer is “yes”.
The key is discipline, as it will require a big sacrifice on your part. Moreover, there are others who have done it (successfully or otherwise).
Let us look at some lessons from those who have managed well and conquered this road.
1. Prioritise, prioritise, prioritise
It goes without saying that juggling career, life and studies is very demanding. In dealing with this, you just have to learn to make your priorities clear.
That could involve limited leisure time, having (and following) a set routine, and other sacrifices.
It is a delicate balance, after all. Your daily job should not be negatively affected because of your studies. It might, in fact, make you a better employee when it comes to getting things done.
Read more: Timeboxing - the Ultimate Productivity Tool
(Photo credit (above): Chris Florence | Flickr)
2. Manage time
We all have 24 hours in a day. Some achieve more, and some less. It all boils down to how one manages time. Studying while working is no different compared with studying full-time.
In fact, full-time and part-time studies are nearly the same – by their set standards and the dedication required to complete the entire course. You still have submission deadlines and assignments to finish.
On average, part-time students are expected to allocate 20 to 30 hours a week to study. This could mean averaging a study time of three to four hours a day, or spending more hours on weekends.
That is where time management comes into play, balancing daily workload, studies and “me” time.
3. Always stay on top of things
It is good to always be clear of what is expected of you – at work, studies and life.
Work schedules might be challenging at times, especially if it involves travelling. A thorough plan will be helpful to ensure that there is no conflict in your work-study-life scheduling.
You might hit a busy period at work and be going through a particularly difficult subject/assignment at the same time, and it is important to not let any of it affect your time.
Related: Time Management is not Clock Management
4. Have a break
There might be days when you feel like giving up. Your energy level is low, you are not having enough sleep, and your concentration level is dipping.
It’s time to take a break. Relaxation works, be it half an hour away from work or a short weekend trip.
Understand that juggling work and study is tough. However, both are equally important, and you will need to keep up the momentum.
5. Appreciate time
When you have to juggle these very important aspects in your life, your appreciation of time will be redefined.
Remember those days which you used to feel were too long?
Now you might be asking for more hours. Learn to be more efficient, and you will have “more” time.
First published in English daily The Star, Malaysia, 25 October 2014