A Student’s Guide to Balancing Working and Writing

Balancing work and your academics can be a challenge but it is far from an impossible feat. Many students either want or need to maintain a job throughout their studies. There are many benefits to earning and learning at the same time. In addition to enhancing your skillset and providing valuable experience, the workplace can also be an excellent place to expand your social circle and industry contacts.

Regardless of your motivations for wanting to study and work, you will need a solid plan to ensure you have the time and energy to fully commit to both. Here are six actionable tips to help you to survive and thrive while balancing your work and studies.

Carefully Consider your Schedule

Staying organized is critical and maintaining a diary or a calendar will help you to visualize where you need to be at any given time. Clearly highlight every work shift and academic deadline and make sure that you have enough time to dedicate to completing every task to the best of your ability.

You will also likely find it helpful to keep your study materials and anything you need for work organized in a dedicated place. This means you won’t need to waste any time looking for something important.

Allow for a Level of Flexibility

Unexpected events can arise in a variety of situations in both your work and academic life so it is important to build some flexibility into your schedule. It is always a good idea to start writing assignments early to ensure you still have enough time to complete them if you need to take on some extra work.

Certain aspects of your schedule won’t be at all flexible and understanding how to work around those fixed events is crucial. Take full advantage of annual leave and breaks between semesters and ensure you are informed about workplace offerings that might be beneficial, such as flexible hours or job sharing.

Prioritize your Workload and Don’t Over Commit

It is important to be completely honest with yourself about just how much you can realistically commit to. Although you might want to say “yes” to everything, you should avoid giving yourself too much to do.

Listing your priorities will help you to focus on the tasks that will help you to meet your goals. Making time to exercise and socialize is important but avoid being too hard on yourself if you need to miss a gym session or social event to pick up some extra work or focus on your writing. Your friends will understand and the gym will still be there as soon as your schedule starts to look clearer.

Maintain Open Channels of Communication

Working and writing can be stressful, but it doesn’t need to be overwhelming. It is important to communicate your schedule to your supervisors or professors, your employers and your friends and family because it ensures that the people around you always know when and where you will be available.

Maintaining your work responsibilities and producing quality academic work you are proud of takes time. If the people around you know you need to be in the library or at work, they will be less likely to interfere with your schedule. They might even help you to run errands or pick up a coffee for you after a long study session.

Avoid Unnecessary Time-Draining Situations

Learning how to say “no” to things that will negatively impact your studies or your work is one of the most important things studying and working will teach you. You certainly deserve time to relax but try to ensure that you aren’t spending too much time endlessly scrolling social media.

Develop Stress Management Skills

There will be times when you will start to feel the stress of a tight schedule and learning how to manage the strain is imperative. Taking regular breaks, getting enough sleep and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are all excellent stress relievers so don’t forget to enjoy life between work and writing.

Remember, overworking yourself can adversely affect your passion for what you’re doing. Don’t let anything stand in the way of your success.

Inga Lindstromn is a Freelance Writer and a Content Copywriter at UK Writers Hub. I have huge passion for writing and loves offering assistance and inspiration whenever possible.


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