Life has its challenges doesn’t it? 

I remember a time when I was single and “carefree” so to speak and I had to only think about me, myself and I.  

Maybe that’s where you are right now or maybe not.  It all goes without saying that no matter where you are in life there’s always going to be something that will fly in from nowhere to add a little “something” extra to your life.  

Whether that be self-imposed or not, we all have to learn to process it and decide how we’re going to navigate our life to incorporate it for however long or short a time period it may be.

Trust me when I say, even though it might seem daunting from the start you will build resilience, grit and flexibility.

SCENARIO:

You’re a father or mother working full time and have a family and you’ve decided to upskill or get back onto your career pathway that you left on the backburner whilst you had your family or you’ve decided on a change in career.  Now what? 

You’re excited about the study but reality has just set in and you’ve just realised you put a lot on your plate!

OK, now just BREATHE…..I’ve got you!  HERE’S: 

8 TIPS TO HELP YOU JUGGLE WORK, STUDY AND FAMILY!


1.   CREATE A PLAN (which is flexible if need be)

a)  Take a piece of paper and write down everything that you need to do or “just do” during  a normal day (prior to taking on study).  Even write down when you go to bed and when you get up.  

b)  Now looking at that list put realistic time frames around them eg. sleep = 8 hours, travel to work = 1 hour etc.

c)  From this list now look at what are some things that you can sacrifice for now or cut down the time spent doing them and cross them out or adjust the time. 

d)  You should have a list of what is important that you need to keep going with.  Now have a look at your course/programme and how much time per week that you need to dedicate to it.  Looking at the list in front of you, write up a schedule of a realistic daily routine.  For example:

Wake up – 5.30am.
Run 5.45am to 6.15am.
Off to work at 7.30am.
Work 8.30am
Lunch – 12.00pm to 12.30pm.
Home 6.00pm.
Family 6.00pm to 8.00pm.
Study 8.00pm to 9.00pm.
Bed 9.30pm. 

I want to emphasise that even though you have a “Plan” don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t keep it sometimes because the sooner you do, the sooner that you learn to not sweat the small stuff and enjoy your journey.

2.  MAKE TIME FOR THE PEOPLE WHO MATTER 

No matter where you go in life you always need to make time for the most important people in your life? However busy you might be, you need to make time for the relationships that matter, both friends and family. 

Try to set aside some ‘protected time’ each week to spend with your nearest and dearest, because the last thing you want is for your relationships to suffer as you try to do too much. Even if it’s something as simple as meeting a friend for a coffee or taking the kids to the park, make time for the people you care about.

3.  TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

Make sure that you take care of yourself.  Having a heavy schedule and trying to keep it
all together can be stressful so you need to be mindful of exactly where you’re at.  Make it a habit to go for a walk for 30 minutes each day.  Chill out to music or reading a novel or going to the hairdresser. Do something each day for 30 minutes that will help you to unwind and help with releasing stress.

4.  BE REALISTIC AND DON’T OVERDO IT!

People tend to bite off more than they can chew when it comes to studying whilst working full-time.  You need to be realistic about it.  If you are realistic right from the start you will find that you should have less stress to deal with and remember “DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF”.  Remember also to not compare to everyone else and how much they’re doing, look at yourself and your circumstances and work from there.

5.  FIND YOUR PERFECT STUDY SPOT

Whether it is at the library after school, at a quiet coffee shop or your bedroom at night or in the morning, find your study area and a suitable time for studying that will work for you.

Make sure you stick to it.

Where you opt to study is equally as important as the way you study. Remove any distractions such as turning off your phone. Have everything you need once you start, so you do not need to stop just to look for a pen.

6.  GET ENOUGH SLEEP!

If you’re not a night owl then think about waking up at 5.30am and studying for about an hour, then go back to sleep until 7.30am. You should wake up feeling reasonably rested. Doing this is much better than waking up and feeling tired from staying up half the night. You should also take breaks when you’re studying, especially if you are feeling worn out.

Working or studying for too long can reduce your performance so be mindful of the time.

7.  ASK FOR HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT

Always remember that there’s no shame whatsoever in asking for help if you don’t think you can manage. Call in favours from friends, ask to take some time off if you desperately need it and never suffer in silence. 

Remember that you don’t have to do everything yourself and there are always people around you to give you the backup you need.

There can be no doubt that finding the time and mental resources to juggle work, family and study is hard. The key is to plan, prioritise and still remain flexible at all times. All three aspects of your life will require something from you some of the time, so it’s simply a case of working out which is the most pressing and putting aside time for each.

If you can use these tips to help you juggle all three, you could have the time of your life as you work towards your career, degree or upskilling.

8.  MAKE SURE YOU EAT PROPERLY

A day at work requires focus, creativity, and endurance which also means that you cannot let yourself go all day 8 to 10 hours without eating a healthy meal.

If you take care of your body it will also take care of you. Avoid eating foods that are high in saturated fats and calories, such as pastries, cakes, pies and meat products in order to address your hunger pains. Drink at least 2 litres of water per day.

I hope that these TIPS have given you some food for thought to help you with juggling work, family and study commitments.

Here’s to enjoying the journey!

 


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