Going to school is serious work; some students, even when they are full-time students, still struggle with meeting up school demands. So as a part-time student or student who is doing a side hustle, it might be very difficult, if not impossible, to combine work or your business with school. However, certain practices and tips have proven to help balance school and work.
Below are the 9 best ways on how to balance school and work
1. Communicate with your employer
Sometimes, a simple conversation with your boss can get you out of work early or allow you to work from home when needed. Let your boss know in advance when you are having exams and plead for flexibility to allow you to prepare for your exams. Some employers are looking for ways to help their employees balance school and work, so don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. If that doesn’t work, you may consider finding a more student-friendly job.
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2. Prioritize and schedule things
It’s easy to see when we have too much or too little of something: food, clothes, furniture, etc. But it’s harder for us to recognize when we have too much or too little time. It’s more difficult for us to quantify our activities. Finding a balance between school and work is very important. It would be best if you were productive in both areas. So prioritize your activity and schedule them so that they don’t overlap. The key here is prioritizing and making sure that your priorities are realistic and achievable. This way, you won’t have any trouble juggling these tasks simultaneously, and it helps ease pressure and enhance your performance in both areas.
3. Ensure to sleep well
I know it may sound awkward, but studies have shown that students who get enough sleep score higher on tests and perform better in school. Sleep is essential for learning, memory formation, processing complex information, logical reasoning, creativity, etc. And for work, it is hard for you to be productive and have good energy to do anything if you are tired. When you sleep, your body and brain recuperate, and sleep helps regulate your hormones and your body’s functioning.
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4. Create a routine
To maintain balance, you’ll need a routine that helps you adjust your life for both school and work. Although no two people will have the same routine, some tried-and-true tips can help make adjustments in your routine. For example, you can try setting aside a little time every day for study or doing class assignments. It is important to be consistent so that even when you are tired on some days, you will still make an effort to do your routine before going to bed. Once you have a routine, you will discover that studying and completing assignments comes easily. Also, you will be less likely to fall behind if you stick to your routine.
5. Make the most of your free time.
How we spend our free time reflects how we want to balance school and work. Whether you’re spending hours on social media, binge-watching your favorite TV show, or playing video games for hours after a long day at work, these activities should be considered carefully. If you spend most of your time away from work doing things that have little benefit or don’t help you advance professionally, it may be time to reevaluate how you spend your free time.
Look for ways to increase your productivity during your free time. If your work has a lot of downtimes, consider trying to complete your class assignment or studying during that time. Make good of your free time. Don’t spend it on less important things.
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6. Synchronize and eliminate unnecessary tasks
It’s easy to let work or school assignments pile up but then stress levels rise as you struggle to finish everything. The best way to balance your workload is by eliminating unnecessary tasks. Make a list of every assignment you have, prioritizing your responsibilities by urgency, importance, and personal interest. Then figure out how long each one will take you—once you do that, you can start making tough decisions about what stays on your plate.
If possible, try synchronizing your work with the school. For instance, if you were to do a school project, you can make it something related to your work to work on both of them simultaneously. Or you may choose to implement the new skill that you learn in school at work whenever necessary. Instead of separating your work and school, you synchronize them and make your time more efficient.
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7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
As you start balancing schoolwork and your job, you may feel overwhelmed at times. It’s OK to ask for help! For example, if it gets too hard or complicated to figure out how much time your job needs compared with your school assignments, talk with an advisor or someone in human resources at work about how many hours you can safely work each week.
Also, if there are big deadlines for school work coming up but you know your boss will want you to work late hours at work, schedule some gaps in your schedule when you can take care of some schoolwork without interfering with your day-to-day responsibilities at work. Remember that asking for help doesn’t mean failing—it means taking control of challenges as they arise.
Also, sometimes you might have to consider getting a tutor to teach you the things you are having difficulties with. Or you can even get your classmate that understands the concept to do some explanation for you. Doing this will help you grasp the concept shared in class and sometimes can even help you discover some shortcuts and tricks related to the subject matter.
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8. Take good care of yourself.
When you’re busy, you may feel like your job is more important than your personal life; however, this is a dangerous way of thinking. It’s vital to take care of yourself both mentally and physically when work and school get stressful, or other responsibilities pile up. To properly balance school and work, be sure to get enough sleep (at least 7-8 hours per night), eat three balanced meals a day, drink plenty of water throughout your day and take at least 15 minutes off each day during which you can get up from your desk and do something else like listening to music or stretch.
Don’t forget to exercise as well! Going for a brisk walk around campus or during your lunch break can go a long way in helping you keep calm under pressure and clear your mind. On top of keeping up with school work, working on a job presents some unique challenges, especially when eating healthily. Grabbing fast food on campus may seem convenient, but having access to fresh produce and healthier options (whether in your dorm dining hall or another student centre) will help you stay fit even if time is short! Make a habit out of getting veggies every time you shop.
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9. Utilize vacation period
Another way you can balance school and work is by utilizing your vacation days. Your vacation day allows you to rest without worrying about schoolwork and utilize it when necessary. Please make a point of taking one (or more) days per week off from work to dedicate them entirely to your studies without fretting about your job or career prospects. By balancing work with a solid vacation schedule, you can greatly improve your grades and personal well-being!
How do you balance school and work?
In conclusion, to answer the above question, you ask for help when necessary, prioritize and schedule work, and make the most of your time whenever possible. Also, don’t forget to create a routine and make the most of your vacation. Doing all of these will make you have a balanced work and school.