When you first started your full-time job, you were focused on the paycheck. This money is covering your current needs, so maybe you forgot about the goals of professional and personal development. The studies were a huge part of those goals. You put them on a break, but at one moment or another, you’ll feel an irresistible need to continue on that path. Still, you need the money and you can’t quit the job.
Is it possible to study while having a full-time job? It is! We’ll give you 5 strategies that work.
1. Make Priorities
You’ll work for 40 hours a week. You’ll have classes that take a lot of time. In addition, you’ll have to complete all types of coursework. If you’re not organized well, the workload will be too much.
You’ll probably dedicate the weekends to studying since you can’t allow your job to suffer for the sake of this goal. Fortunately, online degree programs allow you to listen to lectures and study on your own schedule. However, they still require a lot of time. You need to organize your time in a way that allows you to achieve everything.
At the start of each, day, you’ll have to get your priorities set. Do everything according to schedule so you won’t forget the deadlines.
2. Take Short Breaks
Have you heard of the Pomodoro Technique? It’s a productivity principle that works: you work/study for 25 minutes, and you take a break of 5 minutes. After 4 or 5 working session, you take a longer break of 15 minutes.
When you’re going through a particularly challenging part of the textbook or you’re working on a complex task at work, your mind starts playing tricks on you. You start thinking “I can’t do this. It’s too much.” If you say to yourself: “I’ll work continuously for 25 minutes and get a smoothie after that,” you’ll look forward to that smoothie and you’ll be fully committed to the task during the working session. 25 minutes is not much. You can stay focused for that long. The short break will give you energy for another session.
When you boost your overall productivity through this method, you’ll realize you’re completing more work in less time. That’s the exact goal you need to achieve when you’re combining studies with a full-time job.
3. Block All Distractions
Every phone call, every email, and every app notification can wait. While you’re focused on a particular task related to your job or studies, everything else can wait. Put your phone on silent and block out all online distractions. Don’t let people disturb you unless it’s something really important. The way you handle distractions determines your overall effectiveness and productivity.
4. Know Your Limits!
Your employer will still want to impose tasks that don’t fall under your job description. “Could you please help me with this extra project?” When you have your studies to think of, you’ll have to learn how to say NO. Of course you’ll do it in a polite way. You’ll explain that you’re already overloaded with work and there’s no chance for you to take care of that additional task during working hours.
You’ll need to play a few tricks, too. Plan your time to finish all tasks related to your work on time. However, don’t try to finish everything way before the deadlines. If you do that, you’ll get extra task. The additional workload will make you exhausted so you won’t be able to focus on a lecture in the evening.
5. Review Your Notes on the Go
Always take notes when following lectures! They help you remember the details without much effort. Take your notes wherever you go. Review them during breaks at work or while on public transport.
It takes only ten minutes for you to review the notes from the previous lecture, but that effort will yield great results. If you go through them multiple time, you’ll significantly cut on the studying time.
When you decide to combine your full-time job with a degree program, you’ll rediscover the true meaning of productivity, time, and effectiveness. You’ll be proud of yourself!
|Brenda Savoie is a private English tutor, part time editor at Bestessays and desperate dreamer. Writing her first romantic novel. Seeking contentment through mindfulness. Find her on Twitter and Facebook.|
I currently work a full-time job while taking summer classes, but this post was a solid reminder to take advantage of the little breaks that I have, and to also give myself breaks. I will definitely be using the Pomodoro technique when I study for my upcoming tests tonight, thank you for the new insight!
It is so important to take breaks. If you are constantly pushing yourself, you are going to burn out. Sometimes when we get burned out, we don’t produce the best work. Take time to regeneration by resting and taking breaks.
Being a student and working a full-time job is extremely stressful and difficult to balance. This set of circumstances has left me befuddled and exhausted. Thank you for such an informative and well-written article that addresses issues and provides practical advice and guidance.