Recipe for success: creating a work study balance

The question has to be asked, is it really possible to have it all? Can one person juggle a job, a study load and still have some leftover time for life?

3 Nov 2016

Trying to maintain a work study balance with success can be a bit like cooking without a recipe. Add too much of one ingredient and it just works out all wrong. Whether you work full-time and study at night or study full-time and work part-time, getting the exact balance right can be tricky.

The question has to be asked, is it really possible to have it all? Can one person juggle a job, a study load and still have some leftover time for life?

Of course you can! The answer lies in mixing a few ingredients to help you create a work study balance with success.

Step 1: choose your ingredients (prioritise)

work life balance chefThe first tip to creating a work study balance with success is to prioritise. Stop and earnestly look at what is more important. Can you work less and still pay your bills? Are you striving for high distinctions or a pass? Consider what you can and can’t give up.

The truth is harsh but in creating a work study life balance with success something will have to give. Life cannot be the same as before you decided to take on the work study balance challenge. The key is to know where you stand, and to prepare for it.

Step 2: mixing (schedule, schedule, schedule)

Think about everything you need to do every day – eating meals, transportation, sleeping, must watch TV, regular family dinners, sporting. Look closely at how you can best utilise these activities. Can you fit in the gym before work? Is it easier to wake up 30mins earlier each day? Do you have the tools to study on the train to work?

Once you break down your daily needs its then time to create an in depth schedule of you average week. This schedule is the key to creating a work study balance with success. Every minute mundane detail should be scheduled (I like to colour code). Look at sleep, time to get ready for outings/transport times, work, TV shows, sporting activities, hobbies, study, classes, assessment work, homework time, time off, and time for the family. There are some great resources on Pinterest to help you organise your week.

Step 3: baking (plan your assessment timeline)

Each time you receive an assessment on Connect, spend time breaking it down to questions and stages. Simplify the assessment into as many steps as possible and then assign these steps to weeks, ensuring you allow a buffer of one week for final editing and review. There are some great free resources for creating great timelines at readwritethink.

Step 4: do your homework

Creating a work study life balance with success is really all about keeping stress to a minimum. One of the biggest stressors when studying is feeling like your behind or running out of time or leaving things until last. Completing your assigned homework will help you keep on track. Do you recommended readings, finish in class activities, read chapters before a lecture. All these will help you grasp a better understanding on the subject.

Step 5: be social and reward yourself

work study balance tightropeSet a time within your schedule for a weekly reward. This reward should be on top of down time. You might like to go out for a nice meal, get some takeaway and settle in for a Netflix marathon, or simply catch up with friends.

Only allow yourself this ‘reward’ if you have completed the week’s tasks. If you haven’t, then use the ‘reward’ time set aside to catch up.

Help is never too far away to have a work study balance

TAFE Queensland Brisbane have so much support available to students from learning support, assignment writing, research skills all the way through to student support through counselling and mental health services provided by qualified professionals. We’re all here to help you make the most of your studies whether you’re balancing work or family life with study and we’re only a call or email away.

10 ingredients to creating your work study life balance with success
1. Use a weekly timetable planner to include everything you need to do
2. Make note of all due dates and exams on a monthly calendar
3. Include all commitments on your timetable/calendar, even sleep and transport
4. Be realistic and leave some free time for flexibility
5. Set yourself homework time for every night
6. Timeline each assessment and stick to it
7. Set yourself goals
8. Reward yourself each Sunday night, but only if you’ve hit your timelines!
9. Be flexible – sometimes things just don’t go to plan
10. Keep the end goal uppermost in mind

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