Maintaining a Balance Between School and Work

Balance between school and work

If you are attending school and working at the same time, then you know how stressful this can be at times. You may have found your work responsibilities interfering with your school duties, or vice versa.

This can lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed, disorganized and frustrated if not managed correctly. It can even make you feel like giving up.

But do not give up. There are many steps you can take to maintain a better balance between your work and school. Below are just a few examples you can implement today.


Schedule Help

No one has super powers. No one can do everything in a day or even a week without help of some kind. It is more than okay to ask for help from others. Or, pay someone for help. For example, if you have children and need a few hours of quiet time to complete homework, hire a family member or friend for those hours.

Allow them to watch your children while you work. If you can’t afford to pay, try bartering. If cleaning the house or grocery shopping is taking up too much time, hire someone else to do it.

Figure out which parts of your life can be entrusted to someone else, and then ask for help.


Enjoy Work and Studies

Many claim that if you choose to work or study in a field that you find fun and enjoyable, the work you must do will not feel like work at all.

Choose a program to study based on what you can envision yourself doing for many years to come. Choose something that makes you feel rewarded and valuable. Choose a program that offers you joy.

Do not choose to work in an industry just for the money or because someone else thinks you will be good at it. Make your choice based on what will make you feel fulfilled and happy.


Implement Time Management Strategies

Time management means you know where your time is spent throughout each day. You know this because you have planned and prioritized your time.

Making a to-do list, getting organized, and you have left a buffer time in between appointments to give you a little extra time when needed. Other great time management strategies include saying “No”. You must avoid saying yes to every request made of you.

If you continue to do this, you will not be able to maintain a balance between work and school.

Use calendars, alarms and during times where you find yourself waiting, make that time count by answering emails or calls.


Make Your Health a Priority

If you are not healthy both mentally and physically, you will struggle to do well in both work and your studies. You must agree to treating yourself well by eating healthy foods, getting proper sleep and finding some time for exercise.

When you are unhealthy, you may find it difficult to concentrate and stay focused. You may become more irritable and frustrated easily, making it hard to complete your work.

Poor health will eventually lead to missed days at work and school, putting you behind deadlines in both areas.

Make the efforts to treat yourself well. Participate in simple activities that are known to improve mental and physical abilities. Take long baths, eat more fruits and vegetables, drink herbal teas, meditate and practice yoga. These are a few examples of how pampering yourself will lead to better results at work and school.


Setting Goals

Short-term and long-term goals are important at work and school. They show you whether you are making progress and if not, they show you why not. Short-term goals should be geared towards what needs to be done in the next few weeks or months.

Long-term goals center around what you want to accomplish in the next year or more. Goals can even have sub-goals that can help you reach your major goals. For example, if you have a long-term goal of finishing college, your sub-goals can focus on taking certain classes, practicum, job shadowing and more.

Goals should be organized and have a time and date attached to them and when you accomplish a goal, reward yourself.


Reward Yourself

Rewarding yourself each time you reach a goal or milestone is a great way to maintain balance between school and work. Rewards show you have made progress and for that progress, you deserve something special.

Rewards can give you something to look forward to as well. And they don’t have to be huge, over the top events. You don’t want to give yourself a cruise to the islands when completing one course or one project at work.

Instead, find smaller rewards, like a new pair of shoes or a movie and dinner night. You have earned these rewards. Enjoy them.


Communicate Your Needs

No one can read your mind, not at work and not at school. If you are struggling, tell someone. Speak to someone about what you need.

Communication can happen in many different forms. You can call someone, meet with them in person, email, or even text someone.

If you do not tell your boss you are feeling overwhelmed, he or she may continue to give you more work. If you don’t talk to your professors and explain why you need extra time on a project, they will not be able to help you.

Don’t be afraid to open up and express your concerns with others who can help.


Believe in Yourself

You can succeed at balancing school and work. Look at all the great things you have done to get you to this point.

Remind yourself that going to school and working at the same time is a temporary situation. You will be graduating from college one day and the stressors of balancing school and work will no longer exist.

Find ways to affirm yourself and keep your confidence high. Never stop believing you can accomplish the goal of going to school and working. You can do it.