Studying has many challenges that you have to face in order to get the most out of your learning experience. For most students, finding the balance between study and work can be the most difficult aspect of studying. With so many distractions and environmental stressors, it can be hard to maintain your motivation to study and stay focused. Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks that you can take on board to help balance study and work, which can help you achieve better results with your learning and at work!
Can you actually balance your studies & your profession?
The answer is yes, and we’ve got 5 tips to help you perfect it!
→ Make a realistic study plan
Most qualifications like University degrees or TAFE courses, require students to complete tasks such as assignments, quizzes, reading and watching lectures. It’s a process we’re all familiar with, however, It can be easy to lose track of your time and find yourself with a large workload and no time to complete it.
Creating a study plan that takes into account your other commitments can help you create an efficient routine.
For example, if you are given a time-consuming assignment such as a literature review, a good idea is to break it down into parts that you can set yourself to complete each day (e.g. collecting research, reading research, writing a draft, editing). This will help you juggle your studying with work and other commitments and keep you from leaving things until the last minute.
→ Set study goals
Set yourself short-term and long-term goals for your studying. ‘Getting good grades’ is not very specific or motivating. The best way to create motivating goals is to set S.M.A.R.T. goals; that is, specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals. Form your goals around your study motivations so that they are easy to remember and never fail to get you focused again.
Short-term goals with suitable rewards for achieving them, are also useful in helping you stay motivated. Positive reinforcement can be a powerful tool in creating good habits that you can use to help you succeed in your studies. You will need to set yourself small goals each day such as finishing the tasks you have set for yourself in your study planner and decide on an incentive that will keep you motivated.
→ Get into a study routine
Staying motivated to study is a lot easier when it becomes part of your daily routine. This can be a bit more difficult with students who have irregular work hours but you can form a study routine if you really commit to it. For example, you might choose to wake up an hour earlier so that you can devote that extra time to studying each day, or you may limit the amount of time you give to your social life so that you have a consistent amount of time for studying.
Being a good student requires making a few sacrifices, but once you have completed your course of study, it all becomes worthwhile. Try to center your routine around your other commitments so that you can effectively balance study and work.
Remember, to turn a study into a routine you need to make your study goals achievable and realistic, so don’t try to study for 6 hours a day- it won’t happen. Make sure you set yourself a reasonable amount of time to study and give yourself time for more enjoyable activities.
→ Create your own approach to studying
You can find a lot of information online about the best way to stay motivated to study. Ultimately, the best way to do it is to find your own way. Create your own approach to study and figure out what works for you. Is it having a routine? Is it rewarding yourself for completing tasks? Maybe it’s working with peers?
Find out how you study best and build your study approach around this. Simple things such as figuring out what time you study most effectively can help you build a better approach. For example, you may be someone who studies better in the morning, work this into your study approach so that you have the best environment to learn.
→ Don’t choose one or the other
It is definitely attainable to have a balance between study and work in your life. Make sure you are not choosing one or the other because you will find yourself unmotivated and unhappy.
A healthy, balanced life will help you perform the best in each aspect of your life and keep you from burning out. With enough structure and routine in your life, you can balance everything that you want in your life.