Time management is the most challenging life skill you have to learn. It’s also indispensable. People who never learn how to manage their time well often have a hard time. They miss out on personal events, work opportunities, and classes that could advance their careers. Do you ever wonder how working students can juggle work and school at the same time? You will be surprised that many of them start their life as working students now knowing how to manage their time, too. They, of course, learned along the way.
There are many reasons why students also have to work while studying. Some need it to finance themselves through college. Others attend on-the-job training degrees so they can learn and gain experience at the same time. Still, some also go back to school way after they’ve already started working to advance their careers in their chosen fields. Whatever reasons you might have for working and studying at the same time, one thing is for sure: you need exceptional time management skills.
Start Your Day Early
Hannah, 33, has always been a late riser. However, when she started attending college and realized she needs to work to sustain her education, she quickly learned the value of starting the day early. In the morning, she can fix all she needs for school—homework, projects, and readings. She attends school until the afternoon before going to a part-time job until 9 PM. This schedule allows her to be a full-time student and a part-time worker.
Since then, she has applied this same principle to everything she does. Now that she has a family and another kid on the way, she can better manage their schedules by doing one thing every single day: starting early. It’s the most important lesson she learned in life.
Time management is all about self-discipline. Every day, you are tempted to forego your responsibilities. You feel that you deserve to take a break. Yes, you do, but you can’t take a break while doing your thesis or while in the middle of a big project at work. There is time for taking breaks and avoiding burnout. And then, there is time to sit down and do what you signed up for.
You can take short breaks that will allow you to focus. Eating a nice lunch is a short break that will refocus your energy. A week-long staycation is not the kind of break that will help you with work or school. It is a cop-out. It will delay what progress you already have.
Hannah said that another thing people need to learn to better manage their time is to avoid procrastination. Checking your Facebook feed every 20 minutes or so is a form of procrastination. Staying “five more minutes in bed” is procrastination. You are simply trying to delay the inevitable. People get easily overwhelmed by things. But if you fall into this trap, you will end up not doing anything. Break down your tasks into smaller chunks and accomplish as many things as you can in a given schedule.
Make a Schedule
Lastly, no one will be able to achieve anything without a clear schedule. Make a schedule from the moment you wake up until you sleep in the evening. You need to keep to this schedule, except for real emergencies. Following a clearly defined schedule will help you accomplish many things because it will also help you avoid getting into a cycle of procrastination.
People juggle multiple things at once all the time. If you’ve seen your mother build a career and take care of the household, you know that multitasking and time management are not impossible. But to be successful at it, you have to work on yourself and allow yourself to learn from others.