December 8, 2020

Balancing School and Work: 6 Tips for Success

By B&SC Blog Team

Balancing School and Work: 6 Tips for Success

One of the many benefits of online classes is they can be prioritized around a student’s part-time or full-time work schedule. Unfortunately, this balancing act is difficult, especially when combined with the demands of family and extracurricular activities. However, with some self-discipline and support from others, it is possible to accomplish. The following tips will empower you to create a schedule that accommodates your varied responsibilities, while keeping your educational goals easily within reach.

Finding a Work-Study Balance as a College Student

  1. Get organized

    Organization is an important skill in achieving academic success. When you throw work, families, single parenting, etc. into the mix, organization is even more critical. If you aren’t organized by nature, now is the time to figure out a system that works for you. For many students, organization apps, designed for smart phones and/or tablets, are the easiest way to maintain a busy schedule. For others, traditional hand-written planners provide an overarching visual of what needs to be done. Once you find the system that works for you, make sure you use it.

  2. Learn to be flexible

    Once you’re organized, you will learn to separate your inflexible times, i.e. class times and work hours, from your more flexible times. If you are someone who functions best in a black-and-white world, your re-entry into education, via online classes, will offer the opportunity for you to embrace flexibility. Your online education may require you to collaborate with other students. Classes may be cancelled or a work partner might suddenly cancel on you. It’s important to be flexible so you can accommodate the unexpected scenarios that will arise now that you are a student again.

  3. Master Time Management

    While this is easier said than done, time management skills are necessary as you prioritize your daily tasks for both school and work. Start with the small items to initially boost productivity and work up to larger assignments as they can create anxiety and cause procrastination. As you work, be sure to take note of distractions keeping you from completing assignments and think of tangible ways to minimize them. By focusing on one thing at a time as you work through your to-do list, you will likely be more productive and complete more tasks in a timely fashion.

  4. Communicate your schedule

    Once you have created your schedule, it’s important to communicate it to your employers, clients, family members, day care providers, friends, etc. Your school work may be secondary to your job, but in order to have your school schedule respected, the people in your life need to have an idea of what to expect. This could be a calendar you present at the start of each term, or you may need to create more regular calendar updates to present at the beginning of each month, week, etc. This way everyone will know where you are at, and when, and will have a greater understanding of your academic demands and responsibilities.

  5. Prioritize a homework space

    It’s important that you have a dedicated study area where you can work on your school assignments and projects. If you already work from home, be sure to find a new space for school work either in or outside your home. In addition, any study space shouldn’t be used for non-school related tasks as this will make it difficult to separate school from other areas of your life. Once you choose a space, make sure it is organized and conducive to studying. Even if it’s just a small corner of a room, the ability to access pens, papers, your laptop, a floor lamp, etc. will help you to concentrate and stay on task.

  6. Revisit stress management skills

    Let’s face it, balancing online school with your full-time job is going to be stressful. This means you need to have a “go-to” plan for stressful moments. To keep a handle on your mental health, be sure to get enough sleep, prioritize exercise, and allow yourself to have some free time each day to center yourself. Doing these simple things and giving yourself short breaks will keep you from getting burnt out and exhausted, which will help maximize efficiency. The more relaxed and calm you are, the easier it will be to remain focused, and stay on track.

Worried about how to balance work life with an online degree program? Contact the Admissions Office at Bryant & Stratton College – we’re experts at assisting busy people achieve their academic and professional goals. Or, if you are ready to take the next step and further your education, Bryant & Stratton College offers a wide variety of online and on-campus diplomas, associate degrees, and bachelor degrees designed for the working adult. Get started and request information today!

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