Striking A Balance: Working & Studying

Working a full-time job and studying at the same time is not something uncommon among those who want to do their postgraduate without any financial hiccups. But how do you find the balance between attending classes and completing your tasks at work?
Benny Razali

Failing to plan is planning to fail

Get yourself a planner! Make sure to visit your university’s student portal at the beginning of every semester, and jot down all the schedules for classes, assignments, deadlines and exams. Keeping track of timelines helps you to prepare the materials and block your calendar for important things even before the semester starts, and definitely calms your nerves as the dates are approaching. Make sure to do the same thing with the meetings, proposals and project deadlines that you may know of in the office, too.

Let it be no secret

Let your boss and colleagues know that you are pursuing your postgraduate study. Employers are usually more reasonable than you think, especially if your course is related to your profession. It shows that you are committed to advance your skills and knowledge, and that add values to the company. They might take it easier on you as you need to study, so you will probably be spared of late nights at work, and your colleagues might cover for you during exam weeks as well.

Technology is your friend

… especially smartphones. There are a number of apps you can download to assist you in your study and work at the same time. If you are taking a course that needs you to go to classes on weekends or at night, apps like Microsoft Office Lense, Flashcards+ and My Study Life can help you manage your student life. On the other hand, 24ME is useful if you need to have a digital planner (or even a personal assistant), as you can set reminders for tasks that are nearing their deadlines at work. Just try and search for the apps that you think would make your life better, okay?

Sleep is not just for the weak

Never discount your sleep just to finish an assignment or work! Your brain will be always running on overdrive – so it needs the rest at night to make sure that you can fully function the next morning. Going to bed early and waking up early to study is better than going to classes without enough rest, or attending a WIP meeting with triple shots of espresso. You wouldn’t want to jeopardise your health and lower your productivity, would you? This means that you really have to plan your schedules accordingly, so you won’t have to rush things at the last minute.

Take good care of yourself

Never skip your meals! Stop avoiding doctors when you don’t feel so good on a certain day! If you are sick, take a sick leave from office, and inform your professors that you’ll be absent from classes that day. Yes, we know you are capable of juggling your study and work at the same time, but it’s not worth sacrificing your health in order to achieve both. Doesn’t matter how determined you are in reaching your dreams, your achievements are useless if you can’t enjoy them due to rotting health. So befriend your doctor, and don’t forget to put your medical appointments in your planner as well.