9 top tips for balancing work and studies

Amid the COVID-19 national disaster, some South Africans are lucky enough to be working from home.

If you're both a scholar and an employee, balancing work and studies could have been a challenge in the past. But now that we have cut down on transport to and from work (and university), you may have more thinking time about how to use this period wisely.

Here are 9 tips to help you with your work and study journey while staying indoors.

  • Plan ahead. Check your assignment and exam timetables in advance for looming deadlines and display them in areas or on surfaces where you can regularly see them.
  • Make good use of 'free' time. Yip, that 1-hour drive to work has suddenly freed up your schedule. Use this time to read through study material or do any tertiary admin you might not be in the mood for later in the day.  
  • Get the balance right. Tackling studies and work can be exhausting. Make sure that you eat a balanced meal, exercise often and get enough rest. If your body is well taken care of, your mind will feel mentally prepared for almost anything.
  • Communicate with your lecturers or tutors. If you struggle to understand a question in an assignment or if there has been a delay in receiving your study material and it may affect a deadline, let your course administrators know. Timeous communication can buy you some time.
  • Remind yourself of the goal. Grab a notebook and pen to write down what you would like to accomplish through your studies. This is great motivation to keep your head in the game, especially on days when it gets tough.
  • Inform your boss. Your employer needs to know if you're a student, as some companies offer study leave. Furthering your studies also shows that you're serious about your personal development and growth. Communicate ahead of time with your superiors at work if you'll be taking an online exam during the day so that they know you will not be available during this time.
  • Expand your professional network. Many students in the country study part-time or full-time. Form online study groups with students studying the same modules as you. They are also a great source of strength and support on days when you feel demotivated!
  • Focus. Use timetables displayed strategically around your house, create your vision board, set your screensaver as your educational role model – whatever helps you focus on the goal. Use the extra downtime to your advantage to create notes, collages or charts to help you focus.
  • Say no.  As much as this word is a struggle to say for many, there's nothing negative about it. Saying no to requests that may hinder your work and study goals is okay – or if you’re happy to assist, try saying “Not yet”. Now's the time to put yourself first, practise self-care and keep your goal in mind.

Work and studies may not always be easy, but if you can manage your time well (especially now with more time on your hands), you will soon realise that hard work truly pays off! 

If you're studying toward honing your business skills, then we're rooting for you! Starting a business comes with its own celebrations and challenges, but once you are set up, having a proper business insurance policy in place will give you peace of mind. You can live your way, doing what you love – make the most of your time at home!!

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