Working and Studying

Working and Studying

23 March 2018

Are you considering the “mature student” thing? Or does putting food on the table while gaining more skills to build an extraordinary career sound crazy?

Do you have a steady job with regular pay checks rolling in, but in the back of your mind thoughts of career development start sneaking up on you… daunting, to say the very least, right?

Maybe you’re a mom or dad, and the mere thought of multiplying the stress of a spouse and kids, and all the other activities you have going on, seems like a recipe for complete flaming burnout!

Too overwhelming? Here’s the thing, in today’s competitive world people are recognising that a further education is integral to achieving the life that you want. But, can it realistically be done? True, it can be a challenge juggling family, classes, projects, tests, exams, and a social life… Phew! But believe it or not, many people have very successfully studied part-time and held down a full-time job.

So, how did they do it without going off the deep end?

Here are a few strategies for working and studying simultaneously for, shall we say, “the mature student”, without going completely crazy:

Plan your life. Use a wall calendar to work out when you’ll need assignments done and exams prepared. Enter any work, family and personal commitments; that way you’ll know what’s coming up and you can plan your studies around it. Leave a time buffer in case emergencies arise.

Have support. Make sure that your partner, friends and employer are backing you 100%. Ask your family beforehand if they’d be willing to handle more duties. If not, then that’s okay – use lateral thinking to work around it, it can be done.

Simplify your life. Do the in-laws really have to visit this weekend or could you meet them at a local café instead? Cut back where you can.

Wake up before the birds! Get up an hour earlier in the morning to work through study material at a steady pace, and more importantly, without any distractions!

Make time to study before dinner if possible. If you’re able to squeeze in an hour before your meal every night, you won’t feel the urge to curl up on the couch and watch a movie while your stomach is full.

Maximise your commute. Convert your study material into audio files and listen to them during your commute.

Sneak it in. Waiting to pick up the kids or waiting at the doctor’s office? Turn these moments into micro study sessions. Snap photos of flashcards on your smartphone and use those to study.

Break it up into small manageable chunks. One of the biggest challenges will be to manage the heavy study load. Do a little every day.

Multitask during non-brain activities. Work on term memorisation while cooking.

Take care of yourself. Eat healthily, exercise and get enough sleep.

Study during breaks at work. Instead of spending your lunch hour texting or chatting to colleagues, read a few pages from a textbook.

Study without gizmos and gadgets so you can be mindful and focused on your studies.

Keep your eyes on the prize. Focus on the endgame. Things will get crazy, and you will feel overwhelmed, but remind yourself often why you’re doing this.

“Don’t let what you think you can’t do, stop you from what you can do – John Wooden. Happy studying!


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.

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