Trying to juggle studies with work is a challenge for many tertiary students, but it’s possible if you’re able to find a balance. Not sure how to do that? Here are our tips.

Create a schedule

Creating a schedule, whether it’s in a calendar or diary, is vital in keeping track of everything you have to do. Prioritise your assignments based on due dates, and plan how you’ll get everything done around your work hours. Colour coding your schedule will help you distinguish between study, work and other deadlines and events.

Communicate

Communication is key in keeping your superiors at work and varsity/college in the loop. If you’re reaching your maximum capacity, work together with your lecturers and your boss to find a solution that benefits you, but shows commitment to them as well. Communication with your friends and family is just as important. You may need to skip certain social events when your work or studies get busy, so be sure to let the relevant people know ahead of time and don’t commit to things if you know you won’t make it.

Develop a routine

Developing a daily routine and sticking to it will help you stay on top of all your tasks. Take out your study timetable as well as your work schedule, and plan out a realistic routine for yourself to make sure you’re focusing your efforts evenly across tasks. The better you are at prioritising, the more time you’ll free up for yourself.

Use the gaps

Use the little gaps you have throughout the day to complete tasks. For example, you can finish off some of your work tasks between lectures, or do some studying during lunchtime at work. Using these small pockets of free time wisely will reduce your work and study loads, helping you be more productive and giving you more space to do other things - like catching up with friends.

Look for cross-overs

The great thing about being a student while working at the same time is that you have two different networks, and two different sets of resources to help you get ahead. For example, if your work offers perks such as unlimited wi-fi or free printing facilities, you can use these to assist you with your studies (within reason, of course). Similarly, if you have a “job shadowing” assignment to complete for your studies, you can very easily use your work connections to get that done. Look for such opportunities and take advantage of them - they’ll save you time and money.

It’s possible to be a successful student and young professional at the same time. Find the right balance for you, and stick to the schedule you create for yourself. Remember to devote some time to self-care and getting rested. You’ve got this!

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