Personal development is a crucial part of your career if you want to get ahead, and for some, this may mean returning to school to gain additional qualifications. In today’s fast-paced and competitive corporate marketplace, you must always be looking ahead. You need to be aware of the latest developments and growth areas in your industry, so you know you have a place in the workplace of the future. If you aren’t continually adapting, then you could be left behind.
For those who require additional qualifications to achieve their career goals, you must successfully balance school and work. Few employees have the luxury of being able to take time out of their careers to educate themselves, so if you have to work and study at the same time, then you have to work hard to balance both sides of your life. It might sound tough, but in the long-term, it will allow you to progress and achieve the success you want.
Balancing study with your career can be tough, but with a little preparation and support, you can make it work. The results will be worth it! Take a look at the following pointers on how you can make juggling your education and career easier for yourself.
Ask for Help from Family and Friends
No one can get ahead in life all on their own. While studying and working at the same time can be an isolating experience, it doesn’t have to be. Communicate any problems you may be having with family and friends and let them support you through your studies.
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For example, your friends may be able to drop by with some healthy meals and snacks to ensure that you have nutritious fuel for your work. Or, you could get together at a coffee shop to hang out and do work together. They will understand what you’re going through and be willing to work with you even when times get tough.
Staying on top of all the events, meetings, and seminars you have to attend can be a challenge when you’re studying and working, so make sure that you organize everything and create a plan to help you manage your time. If you’re struggling to keep everything together in one place, try using an app like Evernote to keep all your notes together and schedule your time effectively.
Use Your Time Wisely
Now that you have found ways to save time, you need to maximize the extra time you have in your schedule. If you have to travel to and from your job, school, and home, consider how you can use this time well. You may be able to buy audiobooks of school texts to listen to in your car or through headphones on the bus or train. You can also do this when walking and exercising. For those of you with a longer commute, consider taking your laptop or tablet computer and using the free Wi-Fi on the bus or train to work while you travel, so you don't waste that time either.
Getting the most out of your time when you're at work and home is also essential. We recommend using the Productivity Planner to ensure you are managing your time well. This incredible planner allows you to track your work daily, set goals, and make your to-do list all in one place.
Want to know more about the Productivity Planner? Read our article Increase Your Productivity With This One Awesome Tool to learn all about it!
Save Time When You Can
Before you were balancing work and school, you may have been able to make time for extra tasks. But now that your life is busier you need to save as much time as possible. There are lots of ways to save time with technology. For example, get mobile banking, so you don’t have to keep visiting the bank or calling every time you need to transfer money or check your balance. Pay as many of your bills online, and even consider setting up auto-pay for your monthly bills. Also, look to shop online for what you need, including recipe boxes to save yourself time when you need to restock your cupboards.
Here are some of our favorite places to shop online:
Want to learn more about how technology can save you time? Check out our article 8 Helpful Apps That Will Keep You On Top Of Your Sh*t Right Now.
Take Time for Yourself
Remember that your wellbeing is crucial to your success, both academic and professional. Take time out to recharge and spend time with the people you love. Don’t feel guilty for prioritizing your mental health. You won’t be able to be productive if you’re feeling stressed, so factor time to improve your wellbeing into your schedule.
Hire a Private Tutor
A private tutor might seem like an unnecessary expense. Still, if you want to get ahead in your classes, then an experienced and professional tutor can make all the difference. Sites such as Superprof offer you the chance to select from a wide range of tutors so that you can make the choice that is right for you. If this is something you feel you need to invest in, take a look at their offerings and see if there’s a tutor who could assist you.
Make Sure Your Basic Needs Are Met
When you’re busy, it can be easy to neglect basic needs such as nutrition, hydration, and sleep. Ensure that you get enough rest every day and eat as well as possible. Also, get a large water bottle to carry around with you at all times. If you have easy access to water, you're more likely to stay hydrated. We also recommend buying a smart hydration reminder. Since you will often be working or studying, it will be easy to forget to drink water. A smart hydration reminder will blink whenever you need to drink some more water and will only turn off when you've tilter your water bottle to drink. Yes, please!
Time management is tough when you have to balance school and work, so consider batch cooking healthy meals and then freezing them for later, or bookmarking recipes for quick and easy dishes you can make in a rush. If you find a recipe box subscription that you like, make sure the meals you're ordering are actually good for you.
Avoid eating lots of ready meals and takeaways as these are not good for your health (or your bank balance). They might taste nice, but over time the salt and sugar overload will lead to mood swings, lethargy, and general poor health, leaving you unable to study or work.
Know Your Limits
You'll never get ahead if you're burnt out. Be aware of how much work you can take on and don’t exceed this amount. If you exhaust yourself, then you will have to take time out of both your job and school to recover, so you must work hard to look after yourself and avoid burnout. Should you find yourself struggling, try taking some time out to recharge and rejuvenate.
When you're getting close to your breaking point, there are ways to help make you feel more relaxed (we recommend the app Calm) and ease any short-term stress. Taking some time for yourself will leave you free to get back to normal and ready to improve your prospects through personal development.
If you want to have more tools to avoid burnout, read our article 13 Scary Signs You Are Headed For A Burnout.
Know When to Switch Off
When you’re not at work or studying, make sure you are not logged in to your social media accounts (if possible) so you can take time to unwind and detach from your digital life. It might be hard at first, but you will be glad you did it. And after a while, it will become a habit, trust me!
Also, when you're in study mode, log out of your work email. Similarly, when you're at work, turn off your school email. If you try to study and work at the same time, you will do poorly at both, so make sure you focus on one task at a time.
Most importantly, once you finish for the day, switch off completely and relax so you don’t feel too overwhelmed.
Ask for Help
If things get to be too much, then don’t be afraid to ask for help. No one can get ahead completely on their own. Both your tutor and your work supervisor can help you to manage your roles and ensure that you aren’t overworked. Be clear and concise about what you need to be able to work, study, and live without being too stressed. Many jobs give you the option to work flexibly. Consider discussing the possibility of working from home with your boss. Working from home will mean you do not have to spend time traveling to and from your job. It will also allow you to schedule time to study during the day.
Tired and stressed as you may be, remember your end goal and try your best to enjoy your time learning and improving. In the future, you’ll end up looking back and realizing how much you missed studying, learning, and meeting new people, and having done all this while working is an achievement you will come to be very proud of. And really, what's the point in working so hard to get ahead if you don't enjoy yourself along the way?
The Most Important Thing
Following these tips can make a difference and help you to manage work and school. The most important thing when getting ahead is that you're going in the direction you want to be. It's ok not to know what you want to do for the rest of your life, but you do have to ensure that you are doing something you love. If you can find that, then the hard work will feel worth it.
Times may be hard and hectic, but remember that you are investing your time in your future development and success. You can't get ahead if you don't hustle and work hard now.