How to Balance Work and Study [Guest Blog]

How to Balance Work and Study [Guest Blog]

Jobs are amazing for developing skills and networking.

If you are doing it on the sideline of studying, then the extra cash is also ideal.

Sadly, you can’t always rely on your student loan to fuel your taste of cocktails and takeaways every night. 

Working while studying is a great achievement to highlight on your CV, making you far more employable for when you graduate.

However, you need to remember to balance your time, so that you can relax too. 

So how do you find the right balance to work and study? It is an ongoing practice, but here are our best tips to help you!

Know What You Can Cope With 

If you are studying, whether it is at university or college, only get a job you can manage.

See if you can get your timetable in advance so you can then agree on your working days and hours with your employer.

Studying is the priority, so ensure work does not overtake this.  

Also, find out the extra information when applying to jobs.

If you are called for a job interview, one of the best ways to impress the interviewer is by having questions to ask.

This shows you are passionate about the position, but also lets you find out everything about the role. Without doing this, you won’t fully know if the job suits you.  

Also, how will you get to and from work?

You don’t want to get a job which requires you to spend 1.5 hours travelling there or working till 4 am, especially if you have a 9 am lecture that day. 

Skip out the Procrastination

Follow the motto: “Work smarter, not harder”.

It is essential to stay ahead, and one way to do so is by removing the procrastination.

Although this is a hard task to master, procrastination allows your tasks to build up to a daunting idea – putting you off your work and study all together! 

Bad habits can also decrease your productivity and motivation.

Are you slipping into a routine of being on your phone too much?

Things like this may seem harmless, but in reality, they are taking productive time away.   

By keeping on target, and even completing reading and other tasks before deadlines, will increase your motivation and reduce your stress levels.

This gives you more free time to spend time with your friends or pick up extra shifts at work. 

Also, make use of your free time, like sitting on a train or having a coffee.

Maybe you have created revision flashcards that you could keep in your bag for times where you are occupied doing nothing.

Studies show that it is best to revise in short periods, so this is a great time where you could go over key points for an upcoming exam. 

Prioritise and Plan 

Use a diary to work out when you should be working or studying so you can see all of your free time.

You could organise your time by writing lists of tasks to be completed.

Figure out which ones need to be finished first, and then allocate a day for each one.  

Deadlines are bound to creep up on you, so make sure you allocate enough time.

Add a time cushion that allows you to give extra time to complete them, and still hit the deadline. 

Your course is your priority, so work out when your deadlines and exams are, then add work events.

By working out when you need to study, you can then tell your employer whether you can work more or ask if it is possible to cut down your hours. 

Also be ready to be flexible for extra classes, unexpected errands and spontaneous nights out. Being a student means you also have to be prepared to improvise!

Reorganise 

It may not be at the top of your to-do list when you are feeling under pressure from work and study.

But, reorganising lets you understand what issues are reducing your motivation. 

Maybe it’s merely tidying your uni bedroom or clearing out your wardrobe. If it is annoying you, don’t ignore it! 

Ensure when you do study that you are in a clean and quiet environment.

You don’t want to be working in the kitchen with all your flatmates chatting; you will never get as much work done as you wanted.

Maybe have a night at the library or turn your phone off for a couple of hours to keep distractions away.  

Speak to Your Employers

If you are still struggling with the balance, then don’t be afraid to talk to your employers.

Once they know how you feel they will do their best to help you. 

Talking will help start to eliminate your pressure.

It will give your employer the chance to work out the best hours for you. Maybe they could delegate some of your tasks to colleagues to cut down your hours, meaning you have more time to study. 

Getting a summer job is an excellent alternative to working during term time.

This will help keep the pressure off of your work and keep you busy during the summer! 

Sleep!

Watch out for the risk of being burnt out and get enough sleep. It is often the ideas that sound the simplest, that are the hardest.

Are you telling yourself you will sleep at 10 pm but then see the clock tick over to 1 am?

Make sure tonight you get those three extra hours sleep! 

The benefits of the extra sleep will mean you are more productive the next day.

Sleep boosts your immune system, improves your mood and makes you feel more refreshed. Meaning you are less likely to make mistakes.

If you are taking on the challenge of working and studying, then make sure you prioritise the most important things!

While having a job at uni is helpful for the extra cash, you need to ensure you do enough study to get your degree at the end of it.

Ultimately

Take the time to look after yourself.

Whether this is by going on a shopping spree or a night out with your besties, then do it!

You are at university to enjoy yourself.

Make sure you make memories, so your university experience is more than just the course title!

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