Like thousands of other ambitious young professionals, you’re keen to earn a degree but unwilling to put your career on hold to do so.
That’s why you turned to an online university.
After a little research, you discovered lots of reputable institutions, like Anglia Ruskin, offering business-related distance learning courses.With lectures and classes delivered online, you could study around your job.
But now, a few months in, as your coursework increases you’re realising that getting the right balance between university and work is difficult.
Don’t worry, though, getting to the bottom of your to-do list isn’t a totally impossible task.
Here are five top tips for staying organized and motivated no matter how busy you become over the next few years.
#1: work to your strengths
Are you an early bird who can storm through an exercise class, a quick breakfast and several emails before 8.30am? Or maybe you’re more of a night owl who’d rather finish all the important jobs after dinner?
The beauty of distance learning is that you set your own classes, which means you can always play to your strengths. Whatever time you work best at, schedule in an hour or two of studying for then and you’ll be much more motivated to get started.
#2: use your study time wisely
If you can only sacrifice an hour or two per week to studying, then make sure you use that time wisely.
Prioritize the most urgent work to focus on first and take regular short breaks. Giving your mind a couple of minutes of rest every now and then is proven to boost concentration.
#3: work to deadlines
Get together a list of all the university and work deadlines you’ve got coming up and then make full use of your email or phone calendar by filling it with helpful events and reminders.
There are tons of apps out there to help you stay on top of all your responsibilities, but we like the to-do genius Wunderlist. It’s simple to use and lets you create alerts for lots of different small tasks at one time.
#4: remember the big picture
When you start lagging, try to remind yourself of the big picture – whether you’re studying to boost your career or in the hope of running your own business one day, don’t forget the reason why you signed up to distance learning in the first place.
If that’s not enough motivation to see you through particularly tough days, then set yourself small goals you can easily meet. Promise yourself dinner with friends if you reach the word limit of your essay or a glass of wine as soon as you finish the next chapter of reading.
#5: be honest
There are going to be stressful times over the next few years, so be honest with everyone (your boss, colleagues, friends, and family) about how you’re getting on.
You never know how they might be able to help, either by lessening your workload or taking on an extra share of the household chores, but they’ll only be able to do that if you tell them you’re struggling.
Balancing university with a fulltime job isn’t easy, but keep our top tips in mind and by the time you graduate all your hard work will pay off.