5 Time Management Hacks for Balancing College with a Part-Time Job
College is a priority that many students take seriously. But, paying your bills while you’re in school is another factor that is equally important.
Balancing finances and grades is a precarious struggle. Add in the desire to have a decent social life, and you’re often stuck leaving one of the three out.
Don’t lose hope, though. It’s possible good grades, a part-time job, and a social life while you’re in college. You just have to develop strong time-management skills.
These five simple hacks will teach you how to master more than just your class schedule. You’ll be a pro at balancing the rest of your life, too!
Time Management Hacks
1. Put Your Grades First
College students come up with all kinds of excuses for not focusing on their courses. But the purpose of pursuing a college degree is to learn, so keep that in mind.
Everything else is incidental to your future goals.
Yes, you need to eat. We get that. However, there are financial aid programs at every college to ensure you don’t starve to death. It’s bad for business.
Your employer should understand that your schooling comes first. This is especially true in a college town.
If your boss demands more from you than you can handle while still getting good grades, you may have to look for another job.
2. Avoid Time-Suckers
You have the same 24 hours in your day as everyone else does. Your hectic schedule and advanced ambition mean that you have to use that time better than they do.
As you’ve gone through school, you’ve seen the people who seem to have it all. They’re smart, sociable, and well-rounded, without a hair out of place to show that they’re stressed.
Have you ever wondered why some people can juggle a personal life, a job, and school? What is it that they do that you don’t?
Use that curiosity to propel yourself forward by developing new habits.
Watch your patterns for a few days as you try to identify distractions. Are you constantly on social media when you could be studying? Are you spending too much time with people who would rather have fun than focus on getting ahead?
Your circle should consist of people with similar goals who encourage you to be successful. With a busy schedule, you don’t have time for anything less.
When you spend less time on unnecessary activities, it’s easier to juggle everything and find a balance.
3. Be Wary of Procrastination and Perfectionism
Maybe you’re one of those people who swear they work better under pressure. If so, you need to attempt to revamp your work style, because it’s unhealthy to procrastinate.
Even if your best work comes from being on a tight deadline, this is a habit you have to break. Over time, it causes stress on your body. Eventually, that stress will catch up to you.
And the deadlines may be manageable now, but eventually, you’ll miss something crucial.
If you’re a perfectionist, it’s time to get over that, too. No one is perfect, and you can’t be, either.
That doesn’t mean you can’t aim high; it just means that if you don’t reach them every single time, you have to give yourself a little grace.
Oftentimes, perfectionists spiral into deep holes of disappointment when they mess up. It takes time and effort to dig yourself out of those holes.
Even if you want to be the best, you have to keep your perfectionist tendencies in check. That way, if you slip occasionally, the fall isn’t so painful.
4. Get Your Schedule in Order
You do have some say in your class schedule, so make it count. Choose classes that require a healthy amount of rigor. If you know you struggle in a certain subject, don’t take it in the same semester as another hard course.
Once you know your school schedule, bring it to your boss. Ask them to come up with a somewhat consistent work schedule so you can plan in advance and know when you’ll have the free time to study.
Your schedule can’t revolve around work and school only, though. For your mental health, you need to take breaks.
Don’t plan to start work at 3:30 if school ends at 3:15. Rushing is stressful and harmful to your health. Schedule time in between work and school where you can rest a bit, get some food, and account for delays.
5. Sleep Well (And Often)
Sleep can fall by the wayside when you have a busy schedule and a heavy to-do list. But without quality sleep, both your schoolwork and job will become extra difficult.
That’s not good, especially when you’re in college. Studies show that sleep is vital to your academic success, so make sure you get enough.
Your memory and motor skills are negatively affected when you don’t get enough rest, or if you spend all night tossing and turning.
If quality sleep is difficult for you, try these tips:
- Exercise during the day to make your body tired at night.
- Avoid caffeine after lunchtime and alcohol in the evenings.
- Don’t pull all-nighters.
- Put the phone down and turn the TV off at least half an hour before bed.
When you try to do everything on your to-do list right before bed, you lose out on valuable sleep. Whatever isn’t done by bedtime should be put off until the next day.
You’ll find it’s easier and faster to do those tasks when your brain is functioning properly.
Our college years are often considered the most stressful time of our lives, and it’s easy to see why. But when you learn how to manage your time better, you’ll see that it isn’t so hard.
You can juggle your work, a job, and even a social life, and still be successful. You just have to follow these tips consistently to take your time from stressful to enjoyable.
About the Author
Aaron Hunt is the property manager for Prime Place OSU. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by call or text at 405-708-7605.