Balancing tasks and priorities – even Superman struggles with it. And he’s the Man of Steel, you’re just man. You’re bound to have it worse! No matter how integral it is as a part of our everyday lives, juggling errands still takes us to the edge of our sanity, and leaves us there hanging. You’re only saved when you’ve already lightened the load. Phew. Fresh air…
Then another day comes. The world’s once again darker.
Imagine if you’re balancing work and graduate school: you come home after slaving away at your day-time job and the first thing that greets you is the pile of notes that you haven’t even begun to study. Deadlines, legwork, attendance—all demanded, leaving you exhausted. No fun at all, is it? Oh, and that’s your life. Sorry. But why don’t we turn it around? Here’s a few tips how:
Prep the self
Expect twice the amount of work you’ll need to pull off in so little time. That way, you’ll be able to prepare. Allot a small period for rest and relaxation before plunging into the bloody second round. Pamper yourself with sleep and a massage, as well as an indulgence of good food. You know that once you’re back in the arena, your free time may cease to exist. So enjoy now while supplies last.
Prep the boss
Whether you’re a grad student paying for your own education or a professional pursuing further studies, you’ll have to inform the boss and the instructors about your situation. That way, they may be able to plan a schedule and workload that best fits you. They’re adjusting with you so be open to their questions and suggestions. Everything they say is meant to help you and them.
Explore financial options
Since you’re both earning with work and spending for grad school, better find a way to neutralize the expenses. With the tuition, books, and other necessary expenses, it helps to have a partner in the payment. Research financial options in your grad school or ask the office if they have reimbursement or stipend programs that will help ease your load.
Flex your schedule
Choose classes that offer online and night schedules. Also ask which instructors allow meetings in the weekends. Don’t overload your calendar. Make room for empty hours so you can easily adjust if other tasks take longer to finish. But not all extra time has to be spent toiling; have time for yourself, too. Invite friends over, both old and new. Spend time not just for working, as little breaks here and there make a difference to your body and brain’s performance.
Manage your priorities
Know which tasks have to be finished now, or can be finished now, and do them now. Don’t revert to your undergraduate tactics of procrastinating and valuing party time. You have so much more at stake now; better to know which tasks and events you have to value over others. Sleep must one of your top priorities, don’t forget. Now that’s one item on the list; the rest should be easier.
Yes, grad school is a new frontier, another world of learning, as is work. And in learning, you not only drain yourself of your energy and effort, you enjoy the new knowledge you acquire. If that’s not enough motivation, just think that if you find a way to find enjoyment in your draining lifestyle, all the work will seem as light as an eyelash.
You’re not up to the challenge without the assurance of a reward, right? And in successfully balancing graduate school and work, the rewards are greater than the toil. Seizing these tips brings you closer to that success. Now it’s up to you to plan your action.