An article by CNBC reports seventy percent of college students are also working. This means most of their day is spent in either a classroom or a workplace environment. This does not include the time they must spend with family, household responsibilities, completing errands, attending appointments and anything else that comes up.
The way someone can be successful in every area of their life, especially in school and career, is to achieve balance.
Keep reading to find out many tips on how to balance getting a higher education while working.
Make a Plan
Creating a plan of action helps you see where you are going, the goals you want to reach along the way and determine how you are going to get there. Planning gives you a specific map with a starting point or where you are now, to an end point.
You can outline the steps you need to take to help you reach your destination, a college degree. You can also set short and long-term goals, so you do not get overwhelmed, and so you can reward yourself to stay motivated.
You will also be able to find areas of flexibility.
Search for Flexibility
Employers and others in your life may not automatically offer flexibility for you to continue going to school and working at the same time. Your employer may not come right out and offer you a flexible work schedule. Or, your family may not offer to pick up tasks for you, so you can find time to study.
You must seek out these opportunities yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask your boss for a schedule that allows you to go to school. Don’t be afraid to ask family members to pick up extra chores. The time and effort it takes you to get a degree is temporary.
People may be more willing to help when they understand it is for a short period.
Prepare for the Unexpected
Unexpected events happen, sometimes more often than we like. It may seem like they happen more to you than others. Instead of letting these unexpected happenings break you down, prepare for them up front. Begin thinking of the possible obstacles you could face and plan for those.
Allow extra time in your day for travel and a possible flat tire. Schedule an extra hour for time by yourself to process the day or to meet with a counselor. The more prepared you are, the more balanced your life will feel when an unexpected event takes place.
Take Care of Your Health
Taking care of your health means meeting the needs of both your mental and physical health. It means when you begin to feel stressed, listen to what your body needs to prevent any damage from stress.
Stress can cause mental unclarity, high blood pressure, disturbed sleep and other symptoms that can easily interfere with both work and school. One thing you can’t afford when trying to balance career and college is missing many days of either. The more days you miss, the more you will fall behind.
Making your health a priority can help you maintain the energy and focus you need to succeed at balancing school and work.
Master Your Time
Because you have so much going on in your life, every second counts. It’s up to you to make them worthwhile. You must be the master of your time, especially when trying to balance school and work.
The more structured your day, the less time you will waste. But this is not to say time shouldn’t be wasted. In fact, it’s just as important for you to find time to play, take breaks and step away from the stress of trying to balance it all.
Schedule Breaks and Time Wasters
Taking breaks and finding time to do fun activities is essential for a balanced life. However, they should be scheduled breaks, or planned activity times. The other option is to be impulsive and each time you feel the need to get away, you get away.
Doing this will not keep you balanced in either your work or studies. So, plan for fun times, give yourself a starting and ending time, and stick to the structure. You will appreciate those small breaks and will be grateful your activities do not derail you from your goals.
Stay Focused, It’s Temporary
Staying focused on your end goal is imperative to balancing school with career. The hard work you are putting in now is temporary. All the sacrifices you are making will pay off big when you graduate, while still succeeding in your career.
Staying focused is easy if you find ways to remind yourself of your goals. Create vision boards, write letters to yourself, post notes on the fridge. Do whatever it takes in this relatively short time to keep you on the right track.
Reward Yourself Along the Way
You are doing something wonderful and accomplishing a goal that not everyone can do. You deserve to be rewarded along the way. Rewards do not need to be expensive or take a lot of time. But find something to give yourself that will inspire you to continue working towards your goal.
Each time you reach a short-term or long-term goal, reward yourself. Each time you reach a milestone such as completing a project at work, completing another semester of college, or even something as simple as passing an exam, reward yourself for a job well done.
Finding balance can mean prioritizing all areas of your life. Your priorities may change from month to month or even each week, depending on what needs to be completed at work or at school. One week your main priority may be to study for an exam or complete a research paper.
The next week may shift because your priorities are meeting project deadlines at the office.
The most important priority, however, is you. Keeping a good balance within yourself will aid you in keeping balance between going to school and maintaining employment.