Balancing College and a Job (Without Losing Your Productivity)

Balancing College and a Job (Without Losing Your Productivity)

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By Karen Dikson

You got a scholarship and you managed to save some money thanks to the summer job. Still, college comes with extreme expenses, so you need a part-time job to cover them all. The problem is: the attempt to find the right balance between having a job, attending classes and enjoying the college experience is overwhelming… to say the least.

A research study from New Georgetown University found that 75% of college students worked while enrolled. 25% of the students were both full-time employees and full-time students.

Jamie Robertson, a client support manager at BestEssays, explains that students are struggling more than ever to cover all responsibilities they have: “It’s like they don’t have time to be human. They work hard, study harder, and the stress levels get higher by the day. Students are coming to us with the request to help them with the writing assignments for the same reason: there’s not enough time for papers.”

You need to get that degree, and you need the job for financial support. How do you manage to do all this without becoming unproductive? You can’t allow your job to affect the engagement at college, and vice versa. We have some tips to help you with that.


Have a Schedule

If you want to be productive, this is the most important thing to do. You can use an app on your phone, but you can also write monthly, weekly, and daily plans in a classic diary. The point is to have a plan, so you’ll know exactly how you’re using your time. 

For example, you’ll be attending classes from 12 to 15 hours per week. You’ll be working for 25 hours a week. However, you’ll still have time in between. Plan to use that time for writing papers, meeting friends, and exercising. When you plan every minute of your time, you’ll notice you have much more space than you think. 


Ditch the Habit of Procrastination

Procrastination is the killer of productivity. It seems like students are programmed to procrastinate. They know they have to work on an important paper, but they decide to clean the room anyway. They are thinking of ‘important tasks’ to do, just to feel less guilty about procrastinating. You need to overcome that tendency. 

How? That’s the toughest part. First, it’s important to recognize the habit. When your professor assigns a paper, start working on without delays. Your mind will play tricks on you. You’ll try to convince yourself there’s plenty of time to complete it. However, it’s important to plan every stage of the completion and put it in your schedule. Start today, even if you’re just going to think of a topic. It will take only 5 minutes for you to do that, but you’ll be doing something to fight procrastination, and that’s what’s important.


Take Your Time, but Don’t Waste Your Time

Sometimes you just need to rest. You need to take your time with a particular college assignment. That’s okay. Take your time. However, there’s a subtle difference between taking and wasting your time, and you have to recognize it. Does that rest turn into endless scrolling through the Twitter feed? Are you wasting your time on a paper you know you can’t complete by the deadline? You need to recognize the point when any activity becomes a waste of time. 


Set Priorities

You have to attend classes, take exams, and go to work. Those are the fixed points in your schedule. Organize the remaining time by priorities. What’s the most important and urgent paper? Put it first on your list. It’s easier to schedule smaller homework assignments and write them in the evening, but the priority papers can be extremely stressful if you start late.

When you set priorities, you’ll notice you can complete much more work than you previously assumed, and you’ll still have time to catch up with your friends. 


Know the Purpose

Why are you doing all this? Why did you decide to get a degree and work at the same time? There is a good reason behind that decision. You want to be successful. You have important goals for your future. When you’re struggling to complete every single task on your list, remind yourself of those goals. They will help you stay committed.


Make Time for Exercise

It’s easier to stay intellectually fit when you’re physically fit. Exercise gives you energy to deal with the responsibilities of the day. Wake up 20 minutes early to stretch out or have a morning run around campus. That won’t be a waste of time. 

Remember: no matter how busy you are, you always need to make time for yourself. Call a friend, read a book, enjoy your coffee, take long walks, and do other things that make you happy. You’ll be a productive person only when you’re happy about the achievements at the end of the day. You might be tired, but you’ll be happy knowing that you got to do what you wanted to do.                          

Karen Dikson is college instructor from New Jersey. Her works have been published on Huffington Post and other well-known resources. She loves to help her students succeed and cannot imagine her life without writing. Connect with Karen on Twitter.

This article was shared with us by CollegeWeekLive.