It’s a big commitment to take on study. Especially when you already have a life established and a job to maintain. Whether you have an existing business that you wish to boost with new skills, or you’re working to support yourself during your time studying, it’s no small feat. It’s important to be aware of what you’re taking on and know how to handle it. Here are some tips on how to manage studying while you’re still working.
Create a support team.
When you take on an extra responsibility, it’s important to know the people who are there to support you and can assist you when you need it. Once you have that list, you need to let them know. Whether it’s a family member, colleague or study support officer, communicate with them and let them know that there may be times when you will need their support and assistance. Sometimes it will be as simple as a chance to vent over a coffee, but others it might be help picking the kids up when you have class or helping cook dinner when your work runs late. If you gather your A-Team, you will have all the support you need to lift the full load off your shoulders.
This goes two ways. Firstly, you should be ascertain what is most pressing. Do you have a pile of assignments to do that are impossible to get through if you’re working every day until they’re due? Perhaps you need to have a discussion with your work to free up some of your time. Maybe you could finish early, or perhaps you will need to plough through it in the evenings. On the other hand, it’s important to remember that you cannot perform at your best when you are under pressure and exhausted. If you were up until 1am working on assignments, chances are you haven’t written at your highest standard. It doesn’t work when you burn the candle at both ends, so be sure to prioritise yourself over everything else. Allow some time to relax and gather your sanity before tackling the most pressing matters.
It isn’t wise to take on study with the intention of just ‘fitting it in between the rest of your life’. When you take on such a responsibility, you have to give it the time and effort that it requires. A weekly schedule is the best way to feel organised and on top of everything you’re doing. It allows you to factor in the days you work, the days you study, and anything else that takes up time in your week. If you need to exercise at least twice a week, then pop that in your planner as well. If your kids have swimming lessons on Wednesday afternoons, list that as well! When you have your time planned and laid out visually, it will be far easier to maintain a routine and things won’t go pear shaped when assignments start coming in.
Understand your goals and enjoy the journey.
Put simply, there is no point adding to your responsibilities if you don’t enjoy what you do. Why spend your precious time studying if you hate the process? You should be passionate about your course and be excited for what it holds. In addition to this, keep your goals in clear focus. A clear image of where you want to go helps to maintain your drive and reminds you why you’re doing this in the first place.