Juggling two or more important things at once — such as school and work — can be a little bit overwhelming, but I’m here to tell you it is possible. Deciding to go back to school and further my education was a dilemma I struggled with for almost two years, but I believe it was the best decision I could have ever made.
Now I’m only two semesters away from finishing and obtaining my degree. Pursuing higher education is worth the juggle. I must admit working full time and going to school full time almost seems like a magic act: there is a lot of juggling and plenty of “now you see me and now you don’t.”
Balancing work and school isn’t always easy, but you must believe in yourself, set your mind to it and get the job done. Don’t let anything stop you from achieving your educational and career-focused goals. I chose Herzing University because its flexible online schedule was consistent and beneficial with my lifestyle. I’m a total online student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration.
Many ask, how do you juggle that balancing act with work and school?
Well, here are 7 tricks I use to balance work and school to help keep me sane and be productive:
1. What is your WHY?
Ask yourself why completing school and obtaining your degree is important to you. For me, it was my kids and advancement in my career. I knew that this was an important goal to show my kids that dreams are possible. This has been a goal for the last two years and I was not letting anything get in my way of completion. Ask yourself: what is my WHY.
2. Develop a plan
No matter how organized you may be, life can sometimes throw unexpected curveballs. You must have a plan A and a plan B in place. Always push to achieve plan A, but in a life where work and school are involved, you must also have a plan B. For example, say that you are trying to complete work at home and are working on WIFI. You expect to complete your work in a timely manner but you may run into connection issues at home or where you conduct your online schoolwork for submission. Have a backup plan in place like a hotspot on your phone so there are no delays in submitting your work.
Prioritize. Prioritize. Make a list. Write it down from the most urgent to the least important. Just like going to the grocery store, scratch off the list once completed and most importantly stick to it.
4. Manage your time
Saying that is much easier than it is to just do it. Create a calendar and list all tasks and assignments based on date and schedule the allotted time it will take to complete each task. Remember to include study time and sleep in that schedule.
Get rid of any procrastination you may have. Phones can be the biggest procrastination when trying to manage and get things done. You may receive a phone call or even a text message that distracts you from staying focused. Not to mention just checking your social media for a second, becomes two hours of scrolling. Identify what makes you procrastinate and leave it wherever you found it. Do not wait until the last minute to finish assignments. Completing assignments ahead of deadlines will allow you to stay ahead and keep from feeling overwhelmed.
6. Ask for help when needed
Nobody goes through life without being helped by others. It is very important when challenges arise that you seek assistance. You must be willing to ask for help. Whether it's help from your professor, your boss, or a tutor regarding an assignment, vocalizing and communicating those issues are key. Don’t be afraid to utilize all the academic resources provided by your school.
7. Make time for yourself
It is very important while balancing between work, school, and even your busy life that you take out some time for yourself. Take this time out to relax and do things you enjoy doing. I like retail therapy.
I hope you find these “tricks” helpful in your balancing act. Good luck!
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2021. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.