Students who work and study seem to enjoy the best of everything. They get their education and at the same time are able to keep their jobs and get a pay check. However, it isn't as easy as it sounds and studying at the same time as working is probably one of the hardest things you'll ever do in life. Here are some tips to help you.
Have good time management. Set up a daily or weekly plan for yourself and ensure that you set aside time for your studies daily. Vary the study times to fit in with other commitments such as family, sports etc. Be aware, and accept, that your weekends are likely to be eaten into by at least some regular study. Depending on your commitments and need for sleep, early Saturday or Sunday mornings can be a good choice to allow you free time later on both days for family, religious observation, sport, friends, other activities etc.
Get yourself motivated by staying in contact with your classmates. Use the e-mail to share ideas and brainstorm responses to assignments. When studying and working, it can be easy to lose motivation without constant student contact, so make the most of technology to "cybermeet". Try to catch up before or after classes occasionally to put faces to the names.
Set goals and reward yourself when you attain them - this is a great self-motivating habit. One great goal is time off from studying!
Set up a quiet place for study away from home life distractions, such as the television, phone calls or other family members. Always keep your textbooks, notes, computer etc., in this one place for easy access and retrieval when needed. It saves worrying where things are after a long day at the office, store or workshop when you're feeling tired!
Make room for play. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and Jill a dull girl. Play rejuvenates our soul and gives us greater purpose in life. Get out there and enjoy yourself; continue a hobby, go hiking, see a film, spend an afternoon lying with the kids playing Lego Martians on the floor. These are moments as precious as anything and while you are playing, your mind is resting but subconsciously computing the study you've learned and is also rejuvenating your working self. Always put down recreation time in your timetable.
Enjoy the crossover between work and study. Full-time students may appear enviable to you but they are missing out on the key ingredient that is pushing you - work experience. Already working provides added value to your study, by providing real-life insights and examples that can help you better understand your studies. Even if your work and studies are completely unrelated, work is still providing you with the skills of prioritizing, managing, balancing tasks, time-management, dealing with colleagues and customers etc. All of this is invaluable when compared to the inexperience of a full-time student.
Ask your family and friends to be understanding; you have taken on a lot for the duration of the studies and they may not see much of you at times, such as when you have assignment work, see your professor/teacher to make arrangements to catch up on the missed work or lecture. Don't assume the professor will understand at exam time. Be upfront from the start of the course.