Personal Development

Study and work at the same time: the golden technique

Sara Lopez
Written by Sara Lopez

Probably one of the most frequent questions that each and every student has at some point in his education: “Will I be able to handle my work as my studies at the same time?” The answer is yes.

Although clearly, studying and working requires more sacrifices than studying full-time, do not worry! Thousands of students have demonstrated that this is not only feasible but also something everyone recommends doing.

1. Prioritize your daily tasks and learn to manage your time

We have all gone through a situation where we had to organize our time so as to meet a deadline. But, what would happen if instead of organizing our time occasionally we do it continuously? Sooner or later it will become a routine and all our time management problems will disappear.

Generally, university lectures are held in the morning, so it’s important to make the most of the lectures and pay attention as much as possible, so that less time has to be invested in studying the material given in class.

Another factor to keep in mind when looking for a job is its schedule. If work is going to make you skip class, then it is better not to work, or to look for something alternative.

Besides, to organize your time well you have to make an effort and go home after work as soon as possible (so you will have time to study). Limit your leisure activities and find an alternative daily routine.

My experience: In my case I have class every day until two, except for Monday, and Wednesdays. I use those two days to go to work so do not have to skip any classes. The rest of the days or after work, I try to study the material given in class, or focus on the next day’s material in case I do not have time.

This will be the very first step, to be aware of your time. It’s important not to overload your schema with thousands of activities, otherwise your mind will be in several places at the same time.

2. Good planning helps you stay on top of everything.

Time management includes monthly, weekly and daily planning. Once you have become familiar with the curriculum you will be aware of the time you have for yourself, work and study

Always keep in mind that your studies come first, if you do not have time to go out every Saturday because you have not studied what you should have during the week, you have to sacrifice your spare time.

My experience: You always have to anticipate unexpected plans and not overload the daily agenda. Set realistic goals that can be met, otherwise you will feel frustrated and overwhelmed.

If we remove false needs, goals, expectations, and purposes, we strip away the need to do much of what we do. We can then be left with an emptiness that can be filled only with what’s necessary, with what’s natural, with what’s beautiful.” – Leo Babauta, The Effortless Life

3. Do not forget to take a break from time to time

It sounds overwhelming, doesn’t it? Work at least 12 hours a week, go to class and then have time for yourself.

There will be days when you will feel extremely tired and there may even be days when you will want to give up on everything, because you will feel like you have many things to do, many responsibilities. When this happens it is because you are doing something wrong, either you are not using you time as you should or you are not in the right job.

Take time to relax, even for half an hour each day. Most of the time, a break that simply involves relaxing and getting out of your daily routine will have a positive effect on your energy and overall efficiency once you return to work or study.

My experience: One of the best techniques to avoid stress is to practice sport, like yoga. It helps you to relax and relieve tension. Take an hour or two a week to do some exercise. In addition, to be more effective, look for outdoor spaces where you can study and work. Fresh air will help relieve stress.

4. Re-discover the true meaning of time

To sum up, the moment you decide to work and study at the same time you will find out that time has a new meaning.

You will learn to plan and maintain a routine from an early age, and that will help you not only to have greater control over your time but also to mature, and grow as a person. You will begin to be aware of the importance of small things in life, and you will start to enjoy them.

At first it will seem difficult, but as time goes by, you will notice how you have personally improved by managing your daily activities and your time. After all, it’s all a matter of practice.

Good luck!

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About the author

Sara Lopez

Sara Lopez

Sara Lopez is a Spanish Computer Science student living in Denmark. She works with one of her main passions, fashion, as a country manager for Trendhim. In her free time she works as a copywriter for those who require her collaboration, as well as writing her personal lifestyle diary. You can connect with Sara through FacebookInstagram and LinkedIn.