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7 Tips To Balance Work And Study

7 Tips To Balance Work And Study

Having trouble managing your work and school studies? It isn’t an easy thing to do. Here are seven ways to help you maximize your time so you can successfully balance work and study:

Use class syllabi as study tool.

There are helpful little documents your professors, teachers or instructors have created for you to help you out during the school semester – your class syllabi! Take a good chunk of time to thoroughly review the syllabus for each of your classes so you know what to expect over the next several weeks, from course topics, project and exam due dates, to other useful information.

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Enter both work and school deadlines into your calendar.

When is that big project review due at work? How about that mid-term exam for school? It’s far easier to gauge your time and availability when you have your full schedule in front of you. Plot both work and school deadlines into a single calendar to keep track of due dates and important deadlines so you aren’t caught off guard.

Begin working on a school assignment as soon as it’s assigned.

Do you wait until the last minute to begin a school project and end up pulling all-nighters that leave you tired and drained at work? Instead of setting yourself up for a stressful situation, simply start working on a school assignment as soon as possible. Get the momentum going by taking small steps such as thoroughly reading and understanding the assignment, jotting down a few ideas for a paper topic, or conducting some basic research online.

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Find new ways to study.

Make the most of the study time you have available to you by finding new ways to absorb, memorize and understand information. Try writing down concepts and facts, read your notes aloud, use flashcards, rewrite or retype your notes, or study with a classmate. You won’t know which study methods work best for you until you try them out, so feel free to experiment!

Define studying tasks.

When you’re at work you most likely tackle unique tasks such as answering the phone, doing a close-concentration task, writing emails, or having a meeting with colleagues. Your studies should be approached in a similar fashion with clearly defined tasks. Create a list of different study tasks to help you with your study time, such as reviewing a chapter summary, reading passages in-depth, working on a problem set or editing a report.

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Plan study sessions for the week.

Do you study with a plan in mind? Or do you just crack open a textbook and hope for the best? Block out time in your calendar in advance to tackle different study tasks (see above) to make the most out of your schedule, be it a half-hour, a two-hour chunk of time, or whatever you have available to you that week.

Add small study sessions to your commute.

Do you have solid, uninterrupted portions of time during your daily commute, such as a long train, bus or ferry ride? Try incorporating small study sessions during these times. You could memorize facts and figures, work on a few problems from a problem set, watch a required video for class, or review your notes.

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Where do you do your best studying? At home? Your local coffee shop? The library? Leave a comment below.

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Last Updated on December 17, 2018

Read this and stop feeling overwhelmed…for good!

Read this and stop feeling overwhelmed…for good!

We live in a time of productivity overload.

Everywhere you turn are articles and books about how to be more productive, how to squeeze 27 hours of work out of every 24, how to double your work pace, how to do more and more all in the name of someday getting out of the rat race. Well this is about the side effects of those ideas. If we aren’t multitasking, we feel lazy. If we aren’t doing everything, we feel like we’re slacking. We compare ourselves to others who we think are doing more, having more, getting more and achieving more, and it’s driving us crazy. We feel overwhelmed when we think we have too much to do, too much is expected of us, or that a stressor is too much for us to handle. And we respond by lashing out with emotions of anger, irritability, anxiety, doubt and helplessness.

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This season especially is the most stressful time of year. Between the holidays, final exams, family gatherings and general feelings of guilt that it’s the end of the year, it’s easy to get overwhelmed thinking of all the things you still need to get done. But if you use these tips, not only will you get the important stuff done, you’ll keep your sanity while doing it!

    Is this you?

    Change your thought pattern-stop thinking negatively

    When you feel overwhelmed, the first thing you do is start thinking negatively or begin to resent why it’s your responsibility in the first place! The first thing you have to do is to stop! Stop thinking negatively immediately. Instead, focus on the positive. If you’re stuck in traffic, think of how great it is to have some time to yourself. If you’re rushing trying to get things done by a deadline, think how lucky you are to have a purpose and to be working towards it. If you’re stressing about a final exam, think of how fortunate you are to be given the opportunity of higher education. After you’ve changed your thought patterns, you must then say to yourself “I can do this.” Keep saying it until you believe it and you’re more than halfway to ending feeling overwhelmed.

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    Take a deep breath/change your body posture

    When you’re stressed certain things happen to your body. You start to breath shallowly, you hunch over, you immediately tense up and all that tension drives your feelings of stress even more. Relax! Straighten your posture and take at least ten deep, cleansing, breaths. Force yourself to smile and do something to change your state. It could be as simple as giving yourself a hug or as silly as clapping your hands three times, throwing them up in the air and shouting “I GOT THIS!” Think to yourself, how would I sit/stand if I had perfect confidence and control of the situation?

    Focus on right now

    Now that you are in a better state of mind and are no longer thinking negatively, you need to focus on the here and now. Ask yourself this question: What is the most important thing I have control of and can act on right now? Keep asking yourself this until you have a concrete next step.

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    Take Action

    Now that you know what’s most important and what to do about it, do it! Start with the first step and focus on getting that done. Don’t worry about anything else right now, just on what your first step is and how to get it done. Once that’s done with, determine the next most important step and get that done.

    Let go of what you can’t control (the gambler’s theory)

    Seasoned gamblers understand the importance of due diligence and knowing when to let go. The Gambler’s Theory is that once your bet is placed there is nothing you can do, so you might as well relax and enjoy the process. The time to worry is when you’re figuring out the best odds and making the decision of what to bet when you can actually take action. I used this one a lot in college. After an exam, there is absolutely no point in stressing about it. There’s nothing you can do. And the same goes for feeling overwhelmed. If you can do something about your situation, do it, focus and take action. But if you’ve done what you could and now are just waiting, or if you’re worried about something you have no control over, realize that there’s no point. You might as well relax and enjoy the moment.

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      Relax and enjoy the moment

      Stop feeling guilty

      Finally, stop comparing yourself to others. If you are at your wits end trying to keep up with what you think you should be doing, you aren’t being fair to yourself. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t strive for improvement, just don’t go overboard because you feel like you have to. Only you know what’s really important to you, and your personal success journey so focus on what your top priorities are, not someone else’s.

      Everyone feels overwhelmed sometimes. The important thing is to realize it’s normal and that you can do something about it by taking focused and deliberate action. Happy Holidays!

      Featured photo credit: Stress Therapy via flickr.com

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