10 top tips for balancing work and studies

Furthering your education is one of the best ways to advance your career, but for many, the idea of studying while working full time is daunting. Although difficult, balancing your family, job, and obligations while studying can certainly be done.

Here are 10 tips to help you on your journey to get that degree or certification you’ve always wanted and give your career a boost.

  • Plan well. Find out in advance what your deadlines are and display them where you can clearly see them.
  • Make good use of ‘free’ time. For example, reading study material whilst waiting for kids or listening to a training course in the evening instead of flicking through television channels.
  • Get the balance right. It can be exhausting to study whilst working. Ensure that you eat properly, get enough exercise, rest and continue to spend time with loved ones.
  • Communicate with your tutors or lecturers. If you think you're going to have a problem meeting a deadline, or you've had a family or work emergency, let your course tutors know. They understand the pressures of trying to balance work and study at once. Timeous communication can buy you some time.
  • Remind yourself of the goal.  Write down the reasons and accomplishments you want to achieve through your studies. You need motivation to get through this!
  • Inform your boss. Furthering your studies shows you're serious about your personal development and growth.
  • Expand your network of professionals.  There are lots of mature students who take up part-time or full-time study. This community of students can give you the support you need when you feel demotivated!
  • Focus.  Use whatever helps you focus on the goal: be it timetables, goals written on a wall or using coloured pens. Think about the time of day you are most productive and use that time to your advantage.
  • Be informed.  Find out whether the training or education provider offers any facilities you can make use of during your studies.
  • Say no.  Be prepared to say no to requests you'd normally take on either at home or at work. You need to look after yourself and keep your goal in mind.

Hopefully these tips will be enough to start you on your way.  It won’t always be easy, but most importantly, make time work for you.  Time is manageable and the way you manage your time is in your hands. It will be worth it!

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