Need to make the dynamic to another field? Want to get ahead on your job with an advanced degree? Or just want to upskill your knowledge and be more relevant in the rapidly evolving technology-driven age while working full time? These are all plausible reasons to consider a full-time degree or programme while working, and sure enough, it could be such a difficult combination to joggle both together. Managing to study while working full time can be quite rewarding, but also likely daunting and overwhelming if not properly combined. So here are a few tips to get you off to a great start if you fancy studying while already working full time.
1. Plan ahead
Planning ahead can be a goldmine. You don’t want to write your next assignment or study evaluation when you’ll coincidentally be in the thick of things at work. If possible, draft your study curriculum, know your semester or programme deadlines and have a go at it without causing significant disruptions to your workflow.
2. Your daily schedule
Time is of the essence but can be a nightmare if not well managed. One critical problem that may thwart your study sessions while working is not planning your daily schedule. From waking up and getting your breakfast too long work commutes, there are a few gaps you can plug in your study sessions. Got a break at work? Great! Perfect time to study. Even with a well drafted daily routine, not taking advantage of your daily time gaps and free times may spread you thin in the long run. Sure, you need some rest to unwind and relax. But this shouldn’t be overly used to hinder your study progress.
3. Weekends are your best days
Spend quality time with family and get some good nap. But be right back up to continue from where you stopped last time. How you use your weekends can be the difference in getting the best out your study programme or simply hitting the rock at the end of it.
4. Online route?
If you’re thinking about combining work and study, taking the online route will likely be the best way to go. Apart from the ease of access, most online degrees and programmes are flexible enough to accommodate tight schedules. You don’t have to worry about long hours of commute to your study center if you work while taking an online course which ultimately helps to increase your attention span and drives a more engaged study with little or no delays.
5. Enhance your productivity
Increased productivity is vital when combining work and study. It’s effortless to join the junk bandwagon and munch just about every unhealthy snack there is because you are too busy. But it comes with its toll, both on your health and study pursuits. Unhealthy snacks and junks are not going to give the full burst of energy for enhanced productivity. And getting drained is easy when combining work and study. So, don’t fuel failure by going unhealthy, a launch break or home-prepared food can seem long-winded to have, but surely one of your best tips for increased productivity.
6. Get good quality sleep
This is a no-brainer. Sleep is just about as essential, if not more, than anything you can think of. Getting a 3-hour sleep isn’t harmful. But doing it regularly can sure bring unexpected disasters. So, another tip for increased productivity is a solid night sleep. Depending on your natural tendencies and makeup, 6 hours of rest should be just about enough to let you go all in without feeling mentally overloaded or exhausted throughout the day. This will no doubt increase your productivity and make combining both work and study, a much easier activity.
7. Breaks are needed
We’ve talked about maximizing time breaks, long commutes and free sessions for your study. But unwinding is equally important. A little cycling, chatting with friends and family and leaving the stuffy schedule for some time won’t cause dramatic consequences on your study. When you feel overly exhausted -and you will, after a study-full time job routine, get some time out and refresh. The efficiency and overall energy derived will no doubt enhance your productivity moving ahead.
8. Utilize non-brain activities
Multitasking can be particularly tricky, and in most cases impossible, especially when you have to deal with activities demanding high cognitive attention. However, you can channel many non-brain activities for your study and maximize your time. This could be watching a study video while working out, reading while cooking (be careful though!), or taking advantage of flashcards and audio lectures when doing some laundry. If you don’t find a big chunk of time to channel your study sessions, using the small openings can really add up, and will, if done consistently.
9. Optimally use Vacation Periods
Your job type may determine how long your vacations are. But if you have a vacation period lasting few weeks or months, this is undoubtedly an excellent way to fast track your study. Some programmes may offer accelerated courses if demanded, so if you are taking the offline option, use this to your advantage and not waste too much time relishing the sunny days.
10. Let your boss be in the know
Just in case there are unavoidable times you have to be away from work or just need some quick break to attend to your study, an informed boss can be helpful. Except you are self-employed, taking permissions for upcoming events or programmes in your study may be difficult if your boss is not updated on your study schedule. You’ll also not have to stress out over disruptions, occasional late arrivals or special break times for your study if he’s in the know.
Getting the best while working and studying can be challenging, but a lot of things can go right by ticking the checklist above. It’s always a worthwhile idea to sacrifice for long-term goals, so leverage your open channels and get the best study experience while working full time.
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