How to Manage Time As a Working Student?

Friday, October 5, 2018


As if college itself wasn’t hard enough, there’s plenty of students who need to work in addition to studying. The expenses are great and many of you simply don’t have a choice but to work in order to cover them. Depending on the type of job you’re doing, time management could surface as a problem. How can you organize your time in order to get everything done? Is it possible to work and be a great student?

We believe it is possible and that, with a little effort and planning you can get everything done. You just need to learn the art of time management and focus on staying organized. The good news is- we’re here to help you with that.

Take a look at the basic strategies of time management and how you can do it all.

Prioritize
If you are a working student, there’s one thing we need to get straight right away: school comes first.

This means that you need to start your time management strategy by dealing with the school schedule.

Look at your calendar and make sure to mark all the important school dates:

  • project deadlines
  • exam dates
  • homework assignments
  • school events

Having your school tasks all in one place, you can rest assured things are under control.

Now you need to find a way to build your work schedule around the school schedule and make it all fit together. How can you do that? Check it out.

Negotiate
A great deal of your time management depends on your employer and your colleagues from work.

You need to establish healthy relationships with all of them, so as to be able to negotiate your shifts and even days-off.

You need to have them on board when you need:
  • a day off to study for a major exam
  • to change shifts so as to attend a school event
  • to adapt your schedule according to school obligations

You can achieve this by applying negotiation skills and nurturing and open communication at the workplace.

Remember, you need to give something in return, not just ask. Be available to jump in for your colleagues when they need it and walk the extra mile when your employer asks you to.

Be efficient
Since time is your major issue, you need to find ways to save it.

In order to avoid doing the same thing twice, you need to make the best use out of the time spent in the classroom. If you’re able to learn while listening, you’ll be able to minimize your study hours.

So, how can you be maximally efficient in classes? You need to:
  • take notes about the most important information
  • actively participate in the lesson
  • ask all the questions which come to your mind immediately
  • stay focused and alert

This saves you at least a couple of hours per subject when study time kicks in. In other words, it’s a life-saver for students who work.

Don’t procrastinate
Once you finally get home and grab the time to study, you need to be 100% focused and make the best use of it.

How can you avoid procrastinating? Well, you need to get rid of all the distractions:
  • turn the TV off
  • leave your phone outside of the room
  • have a clean study desk with only the essentials
  • have some water and a healthy snack alongside

Don’t make excuses such as: “I’ll just check my phone for a second” or “Let me just take a look at this one YouTube video”. We all know how that ends.

Be productive and study for as long as your concentration allows you. Unfortunately, you don’t have the luxury of wasting your time scrolling through social media and texting your friends.

Fill out the gaps
There might be some free time hidden in places where you don’t see it.

Use this time to read or study, to ensure you get everything done on time.

For example, you can study:
  • in the bus/train on the way to work
  • on lunch brakes
  • while waiting in lines

Of course, not everyone has the power to shut off from the rest of the world and stay focused with all the noise around. Still, if you do master this skill, it will save you a lot of time and help you be a better student.

Study time
Sometimes it’s best to organize everything to the smallest detail in order to maintain your study habits.

Time-management is all about planning.

You need to have a set time for studying planned in your schedule every week. Make sure to respect it even though you’re the only one controlling it.

Avoid:
  • changing it last minute
  • skipping sessions
  • shortening it

Be strict and respect your own rules. It will help you make room for some free time and enjoy the rest of the day.

Your time
You’ll notice that, once you take control of your time, even though you’re working and studying, there’ll be some room for fun, relaxation and enjoying.

Your free time is extremely important for the whole time-management process. You need to use it wisely and fully enjoy it.

Don’t spend your free time just lying around and doing nothing. Use it to take care of yourself:
  • socialize
  • eat healthy food
  • sleep well
  • exercise
  • listen to music
  • be outdoors

Do whatever it is that makes you happy and treat yourself with your favorite activities. Share this time with your loved ones and you’ll stay healthy- both mentally and physically.

Final thoughts

Let’s face it- it’s not easy. It takes a lot of hard work, persistence, self-control, and organization to make it work. Your job and your school can be in the same picture, but you just need to go to a bit further to achieve it.

Try listening to our advice about time-management. Work on putting all the pieces together and building a system of your own. Listen to your mind and your body and allow them to take a break when they need it. This will help you set your own pace and make the best use out of your time.
 
Daniela McVicker is a freelance writer, blogger, and editor at Top Writers Review. She graduated from Durham University and has an MA in psychological science. Her passion is travel and finding ways to enrich students’ learning experience.

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