According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 37% of the 2.1 million people who are study tertiary education are also working fulltime. So how do people successfully manage a work-study-life balance? Here are a few useful tips!
You’re not a superhuman. Placing unrealistic demands on yourself will be stressful and is likely to dampen your enthusiasm for your studies. Think about what you can reasonably commit to in a day, a week, a month and even a year. Consider the commitments you already have and what your priorities are.
Plan your time
You’ve probably paid a fair amount for your course, so you need to prioritise it. Plan out your time in advance. Be clear on when you will study and stick to it! Think ahead, as you will no doubt have to juggle time around friend’s birthdays, a trip away, family commitments etc. and of course, rest. If you don’t plan and stay committed, it’s easy to fall behind.
This may look different from person to person. You may want to keep a separate calendar to your work schedule, so you aren’t confused with your tasks or overwhelmed by your responsibilities. Pen and paper might work better for you, or perhaps the array of digital calendars and organisational systems is your cup of tea.
Find a quiet space
Make sure you have a dedicated space you can go to complete your study. This may be the same space you work from home from. It’s important that it’s away from any distractions, such as the TV an intriguing conversation. Even going to your local library might be the best scenario for you.
Think about the end goal
Remind yourself why you decided to study. It might be for progression in your current role, to change careers completely, or simply for personal growth. Keeping the end goal in mind will help to keep you motivated, especially at the times when you have to say ‘no’ to a social event or are finding the study a bit tough.
Sleep and exercise
So simple, yet so important. Studying late into the night will likely mean an unproductive day at work the next day. But equally, working late every evening will mean unproductive study time. Having some form of break between the two is important. A quick run, some yoga or just walking the dog will help to clear your mind so that you’re ready to study. Not looking after yourself can make you sick and burnt out, and inevitably both your work and study will suffer.
Pat yourself on the back
Lastly, congratulate yourself for putting in the time and effort to work on ‘you’! And as American journalist Sylvia Porter once said, “Invest in yourself, in your education. There’s nothing better”.
Best of luck!
For more career advice and insights, check out our career resources.