So you have got a full-time job, and this is great. It means that you can support yourself while you are in college or university – or, at least, that some of the bills will be paid.
But now you are wondering how you will be able to study and go to work at the same time. You know that people had done it before and survived it, but you just can’t figure out how they made it.
If it feels like you worry no more. Let’s have a look at how you can study with a full-time job, and still be one of the best students in your class.
1. Organize a list of your tasks and activities:
The first thing that you will have to do is to consider the time that you have and the tasks and activities that you have to accomplish on a daily basis.
So, get a piece of paper and make a list of everything. And when I say everything, I mean it – you should include time to eat, sleep, have a shower, buy food, everything.
Then group them as it follows:
- Mandatory: no way around, you have to do it, such as eat and sleep
- Priority: you should have time for it, such as your assignments
- Optional: it is interesting and relevant, but you can live without it, such as a second hobby related to your area of expertise
- Not as important: you wish you could do it, but you know you won’t, or that you can do it in the future (as in, after you graduate), such as gardening classes (except if you are studying on working in landscaping)
After it, go to the next tip.
2. Decide what you will do with your time:
Now it is time for you to decide what you will still do and what will be left for easier days. Possibly, the “Not as important” category will be ignored for the time being, as the day has only 24 hours, no matter how hard you try.
Then you should have a careful look at what is in the “Optional” list. Is there anything that is relevant to your goals, either in class, work, or personal life? If so, maybe you should try and find time for it. But if not, it also should go in the “Maybe after graduation” list.
When you do it, you will have to deal only with what is “Mandatory” and “Priority”. And it will boost your productivity for sure.
3. Avoid creating an “Urgent” list:
One thing that people usually like to ask themselves is if they should do what is urgent or what is important. And, as a student working full time, you will face this issue very often.
What should you do first: your assignment which deadline is tomorrow or the presentation for an important work meeting?
As you can see is a lose-lose scenario. What you really want is to avoid it at all cost. Urgent is a word that should disappear from your dictionary. And to achieve it, go to the next tip.
4. Prepare a calendar (and stick to it):
Now that your time is limited, you should prepare a calendar for your study assignments and exams. And make sure that you will stick to it.
You won’t have much time to spare, so it is important to know what you have to do in advance, and that you do your tasks step by step.
After you do it, you will also know if you still need extra help to get things done – yes, no matter how well organized you get, you still might not be able to do everything.
But the only way to find it out is by creating a calendar, just start from there.
5. Call for help:
Yes, you should be ready to call for help when you need it. And it might mean asking someone to revise your assignment, looking for a list of the best writing services, or better sharing the household chores with your roommate.
No matter what you need, never be embarrassed by looking for support. What you are going through is a real challenge, so it is perfectly fine if you ask for help.
What you shouldn’t do is stress out trying to do everything by yourself, and then miss an important deadline. Remember that great leaders know how to delegate and to make the most of it. And so should you.
6. Never forget the Mandatory list:
You should always keep one close eye on your Mandatory list, even if you feel like the world is coming to an end. And by your Mandatory list, we are talking about the one where you have your sleeping hours, eating time, exercise hours, and time to relax with your friends and family.
Do never go the other way around and think that the Priority list (your job requirements, your assignments, your exams) is more important. And don’t try to twist it either by doing things like:
- Sleeping 5 hours instead of 8 hours per night
- Eating fast food so to save time on cooking
- Not going out at all so you can study more
- Skipping classes so you can go to work
This type of solution, even though they sound perfect, won’t help you in the long term, believe me. You will only get sick or stressed or both, and not be able to do anything at all except for going to the doctor.
The bottom line
As you can see, you should be able to study with a full-time job if you spend some time getting your time organized.
You should create a calendar, distributing your Mandatory and Priority tasks and activities, so you will know if you have any time to spare on anything else. After you do it, you will know if you will need any extra help, or if you can handle it all by yourself.
In any case, make sure that you keep your health as the most important thing in your life. It will give you the strength that you need so to achieve your goals and have many stories to tell when your circumstances have changed.