Gaining Qualifications While You Work: Our Top Tips To Help You Thrive

February 11, 2022

Studying while working full time can be a real challenge. You will need to balance your professional and social responsibilities, household chores, and education to ensure that you get the best out of each. It is crucial that you care for your mental and physical well-being and avoid overworking, which can lead to burnout.

It is best to start with a plan of action. Consider making a diary of all of your commitments each week, whether social, professional, or educational. Mark clearly when you have free time and ensure that you make the best use of that time. You can also use your diary to ensure you’re striking a healthy balance.

Stick To A Schedule

Scheduling your study time can be incredibly beneficial. Ensure that you know what coursework and exams you have for each module and plan your studying accordingly. It can help to schedule all areas of your life so that you can relax guilt-free and get down to studying when you need to. Let your loved ones know what your schedule is so that they know when to leave you to your studies.

Talk To Your Employer

If you are doing professional qualifications, it may help to discuss these with your employer. They may be willing to allow you time off during the working day to focus on your studies. It is in their interest for you to improve your professional skills.

Allow Yourself Leisure Time

While your studies are undeniably important, it is also crucial that you balance these with downtime. Working full-time while studying can be stressful, so ensuring you have time to yourself regularly is vital to avoid burnout.

Consider scheduling time each day, no matter how small, to spend doing something relaxing or something you enjoy. It could be ten minutes of reading, an hour soaking in the tub or a meal out with friends. This can be invaluable in keeping yourself motivated and refreshed each day.

Set Up A Home Office

You will need a productive environment to study effectively. If you have space, consider turning a spare room into an office for your studies. Get a desk and comfortable chair to use, as well as good lighting. If possible, working near a window can be a great way to take advantage of the natural light and give you a pleasant view to look at when you need a small break.

If you don’t have a spare room, you could set up your workstation at the kitchen table or put a desk into a corner of your living room or bedroom. Ensure that you keep your workspace as separate as possible from the rest of your living and leisure areas.

Sleep Well

Getting a good night’s rest is crucial to performing your best at work and while studying. It can help to set a bedtime and morning routine. Avoid using any screens or drinking caffeinated beverages in the two to four hours before you go to sleep. If you find yourself getting poor rest, you could also consider updating your mattress and pillows, a common cause of poor sleep.

Take Courses Online

Studying online can be an excellent way to fit studying around your work life. There are thousands of excellent online courses to take, and the improvements to video conferencing platforms make studying online as effective as in person. If you want to learn more about business, you can view the courses to understand what you could expect from online training.

Stay Connected With Loved Ones

Juggling work and education can result in less free time to spend with your loved ones. It is a good idea to let your loved ones know what you are doing regarding education and when they can expect to see you. Scheduling time to see friends and family can help ensure you stay connected and prevent loneliness and isolation. Even a 10-minute phone call with a friend can be hugely beneficial.

Stay Motivated

It can be helpful to take the time to remind yourself why you are studying. Ask yourself what you want to achieve and how your studying goals will help you get there. Reminding yourself why you’re undertaking your studies can be a great way to keep motivated. You could consider starting each day by affirming your career and life goals and acknowledging that your hard work will pay off.

Join A Study Group

Studying with others can be an excellent way to improve motivation and provide encouragement. You could consider forming a study group with other people from your class or asking friends who are studying to join you for library sessions. This can help keep you all on track. If you are distance learning or learning online, you could consider having video or voice call study sessions.

Study In Blocks

Scheduling eight hours of study on a Saturday can seem like the logical thing to do, but after a long week of work, you may find that only one or two of these hours are actually fully productive. Instead, try breaking up your studies into manageable chunks. Consider working for an hour or two at a time and taking a break in between. You could take a half-hour walk, do a short exercise video or practice a hobby during your break, and come back refreshed.

Stay Mentally Healthy

It is a good idea to care for your mental well-being while you study. Having so much on your plate can lead to stress and anxiety. If you find that you’re struggling to juggle everything, you could consider taking a break or even deferring your studies for a term. Going part-time at work could be another excellent way to ease some of your workloads if you have the financial stability to do so. If you are concerned about your mental health, it is a good idea to talk to a mental health professional who will give you advice and offer effective coping strategies.

Eat Plenty Of Brain Food

Eating the right foods can help your concentration, productivity and memory. You should aim to eat a healthy balanced diet. While this can be challenging when juggling work and education, the benefits are clear. You could consider subscribing to a meal kit delivery service to free up your time throughout the week. This can be a great way to ensure you enjoy healthy, varied meals with minimal fuss.

Avoid Distractions

Distractions are one of the biggest enemies of productivity. It can help to put your phone elsewhere or set it to silent to avoid distractions from notifications and social media. It is also a good idea to keep the TV off. You can also set up productivity controls on various websites if you struggle with procrastination.

Exercise Regularly

Staying physically fit is an excellent way to stay motivated and ensure you spend your time productively. It may seem counterintuitive, but the less we move, the lower our energy levels become. Exercise can provide you with the energy and focus you need to work well, which is why exercise breaks can be an ideal way to stay motivated while studying.

Final Thoughts

Studying while working full time can be a true challenge. It is important that you prepare adequately for the challenges you’ll face and schedule your time effectively. It can also help to remember that you won’t be studying forever and that these months of hard work and sacrifice will be worth it in the long run.

About the Author Prabhakaran

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