Juggling Work, Life and Online Education
Finding a balance between work, school and life can be challenging. Here are 5 ways to help stabilize your course load, professional obligations and personal endeavors.

Work and school are huge commitments than can affect your life in major ways. We’ve all tried to section things off, and make neat little segments containing the responsibilities of our different commitments. But, sometimes one thing leads to another, Pandora’s Box bursts open and the next thing we know, havoc and disarray are running rampant in our lives.

So what can you do? How do you juggle your course load, your professional obligations and even your personal endeavors?

These concepts can help you and your perpetual juggling act, as you balance work, school and life:

1. Organization

In many instances, a lack of organization is the root of stress. When it comes to work and school, keeping things operating predictably and smoothly can be a great starting point for eliminating unnecessary stress. Organization can come in many different forms. Here are a few things you can try to make sense of your different responsibilities:

  • Take cohesive notes: The better your notes, the better your study session. Focus on key concepts, rather than minute details. Ideally, your notes should review what you already know. They shouldn’t teach you the material.
  • Minimize Distractions: Many times, one of the most effective ways to study involves finding a place where you can focus without distraction. TV, social media and cell phones tend to divide your attention and often impede retention when it comes to studying. The same holds true for the workplace. Find somewhere you can be productive and make that your haven when things need to get done.

2. Good Study Habits

Many complex subjects can be tackled with a cohesive study plan. There are things you should want to implement and practices you definitely want to avoid to get the most productivity out of each study session.

  • Avoid Cramming: This goes back to organization; ideally, you should study a little every day. That way, when a work project or class exam draws near, you can find yourself reviewing rather than learning.
  • Teamwork: In class, at work and in your personal life, teamwork will often determine your success. The ability to communicate efficiently, play your role effectively and understand different viewpoints is critical for accomplishing a goal.

3. The Right State of Mind

  • School vs. Work: Keep school and work separate when possible. Dedicating the proper time and attention to each entity can help keep you focused and less stressed, as the lines won’t blur.
  • Celebrate Successes, Regardless of Size: The little things are just as important as the big ones when it comes to maintaining momentum in school and at work. Don’t overlook the little wins as you work toward the main goal. Celebrating small wins can do big things for your confidence level on a day-to-day basis.

4. Physical Fitness

  • Eat Clean: Foods high in fiber and carbohydrates prompt the brain to make higher levels of the hormone serotonin, which helps people relax, according to scientists. On the other hand, fatty and sugary foods like various meats or cheeses are high in fat. The fat from these foods thickens the blood and leaves people feeling lethargic and slow. Beware of sugar too, as excess amounts of it can lead to crashes and that isn’t good for work or school.
  • Sleep it off: Sleep is critical. It helps increase memory and keeps you alert during the day. Getting the right amount of sleep can also help keep your stress levels low. Avoid all-nighters whenever possible, but if you have to pull one, take a few 15-30 minute naps throughout the night to give your brain a break.

5. Work Smarter, Not Harder

  • Work Efficiently: Making regular usage of lists is also important. For people who struggle with organization, it’s often a good idea to list out your job duties and tasks on a calendar. This way, you won’t forget daily assignments and you can make sure the most important jobs are given higher priority.
  • Keep Supervisors in the Loop: Communication with your boss or instructor is a little thing that can go a long way. Teachers tend to remember students who reached out to them during the semester, and supervisors can be the same way. Build a professional relationship to show them you’re interested in growth and development as a student and employee.

At the end of the day, students can face many challenges during online courses and at work. Distractions, lack of planning and stress can all be major detriments to productivity. They can all affect performance and if left unchecked, can ultimately lead to a burnout. Keep these tips in mind as you aim to impress with your co-workers, supervisors and instructors while at work and in virtual classrooms.