It is not easy to be a working student; you have to go to lectures for 6-8 hours a day, and then you have to work off your shift. Some students work nights, thus worsening the situation: there is no time to prepare for tests and exams, not to mention rest and proper sleep. In this article, you will find out how to find a balance between work and education so that you don’t lose control of the situation and get into a vortex of exhaustion.
1. Don't try to bite off more than you can chew
The workload is different for everyone, depending on their school, major, and class schedule. Therefore, there is no perfect work-study model that would be suitable for all students without exception. However, you can create such a model yourself by adapting our advice to your situation. Three parts of life need to be managed well: work, study, and personal life.
Many students go headlong into the first two areas, forgetting the importance of socialization, recreation, and leisure. Without all of this, life becomes incomplete; a person quickly comes to depression, burnout, and moral exhaustion. No matter how much one would like to work hard and strive for academic success, one should remember that health and mental state are much more important.
2. Create a schedule
To be organized and disciplined at work and school, you need to make a clear schedule. You cannot manage without it if your head is spinning from the number of daily tasks: you may simply forget about something, and if you remember, you will be working at night. When planning tasks, keep in mind:
- The degree of importance
- The need to perform (whether you want to or not)
- To properly prioritize, you can use a special table. The idea is to divide tasks into 4 categories, according to two criteria: importance and urgency
If you’re a follower of modern technology and aren’t much of a fan of traditional paper planners, take advantage of apps. They can help make your day as productive as possible. Keep a tally of the time you spend on certain tasks. This way you can more accurately predict how many hours it will take to write an essay, prepare reports at work, etc.
3. Be flexible
In addition to your daily schedule, write down short- and long-term goals: turning in a coursework project, attending an event, how much money you want or need to make this month. This will make it easy to adapt your schedule to fit your assigned plan. Some parts of the schedule will be flexible and some will not, such as classes and a college session. Keep this in mind when making changes to your schedule, try to leave a couple of free hours each week for unplanned assignments. This will help you to be flexible and not feel uncomfortable if an urgent task “flies in” at work or school.
4. Strive to be productive
If you work and study at the same time, it can feel like there is no free time at all. If you exclude ‘time eaters’, however, you can carve out at least 1 free hour each day. ‘Time eaters’ are activities that add to a person’s time without providing any tangible benefits. These include playing games on a smartphone, hanging out on social networks, scrolling through the news feed, and so on. Make sure you’re not wasting your free time.
Instead of chatting on your social networking sites call a friend or invite him to visit, instead of mindless games read a book, take a relaxing bath, do some simple exercises or stretching. These activities will help distract you from the problems of the day, but, in contrast to the ‘time-eater’, will bring a lot of good. If you’re ready for something more radical, try waking up two hours earlier. But be ready to make other changes in your lifestyle: if you just deprive yourself of 2 hours of sleep, there will be little benefit.
5. Eat, sleep, take care
Nothing is impossible for a motivated young man if he treats his health right. Eating fast food and not getting enough sleep is not the best way to handle everything. Make sure you eat healthy, exercise, and take care of your body. Listen to yourself and respond appropriately to changes in how you feel. Many people continue to work and study even when they are sick. This is the wrong approach.
Feeling unwell indicates that the body needs rest, attention, and care. If something hurts, go to the doctor instead of burying your head in the sand. If you feel exhausted, overwhelmed – reconsider your schedule and give up tasks that are not particularly important. The best thing to do is to take a vacation or time off from work to breathe a little and take care of yourself.
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