Heard about “work-life balance”? If you’re thinking about studying while working, it’s time to get familiar with a new concept: work-study-life balance.
There are lots of advantages to studying while working full-time. You can immediately put your new learnings to work, you can boost your career path, or even kickstart a whole new career. But how do you find time to study, work and keep up with life at home? If it’s been a while since you were a student, finding the right balance can take time and dedication.
The good news is, as a top provider of online learning, this is something we can help with.
Here are our top tips to help you achieve the work-study-life balance:
1. Make a plan
A study plan will keep you honest. It will stop you potentially leaving things until the last minute, procrastinating, or forgetting about things entirely. A good study plan should also stop you from getting stressed, as you can visualise and plan your time. Start by writing down all work, personal and family commitments. Then go through the course and add in any deadlines, assessments and exams. Next, plan how you will study. Are you an early bird or will you study at night? Will you dedicate a slot of time every day, or set aside time at the weekend? Get started with these handy study plan templates.
2. Find a quiet study space
Get this one sorted early on in your course. Finding a space where you can study undisturbed is crucial for your success. If you can’t find the space at home, consider getting to work an hour early or find a spot in your local library. Australian libraries have come a long way in the past decadeand you might be surprised at what your library offers by way of digital collections, study spaces, academic journals, and more.
3. Think outside the desk
Time to get smart with your schedule. Think about all the things that will make it easier to study, without necessarily having to be at your desk. Maybe you can listen to seminars on the way to work or read articles on your lunchbreak. The best part of doing an online course is that you have flexibility to study when, where and how you like.
4. Make sacrifices
Nothing worthwhile comes without a few sacrifices! Look at the things you can afford to go without, like skipping an hour of Netflix each night, rather than sacrificing the things that matter, like quality time with your family and friends. Speaking of which, it’s okay to say no when you are studying. If you’re getting close to deadlines, be prepared to turn down invitations – remember, it’s not forever!
The one thing you shouldn’t sacrifice, though, is your health. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and improve your mood, so always aim for around 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day.
5. Ask for help
Feeling confused, stressed or overwhelmed? Don’t be afraid to ask for help.Speak to your course coordinator or tutor – they’ll work with you to ensure you stay on track for your qualification. But don’t ignore any problems. The sooner you ask for help, the less stressful it will be.
There’s no golden rule.
Everyone is different. So you need to find out what works for you. Be patient and dedicate some time to trying out different study techniques. And above all, ask for help. It might sound like hard work now, but the end result is definitely worth it!
Need advice on getting the most from your studies? Contact our team– we’re ready to help. Undertaking study doesn’t have to be arduous or mean that you’re stuck at a desk with your head in a textbook – you might recall one of earlier vlogs about Professional Development opportunities being everywhere – revisit it here