It may have seemed like a good idea to combine working and studying. After all, it means that you can get the qualifications you need without having to take a reduction in income. This will hopefully lead to more promotion prospects and a better income when you are finished. However, now that you have got stuck into your study programme, it is trickier than you thought to try to combine everything as well as keep on top of personal responsibilities, your social life, and trying to find some time for yourself among all the craziness. Here are some tips on how to reduce stress when combining working and studying.
Being organised is the key to multi-tasking. Plan a timetable for yourself that incorporates your working life with your study time. If you have chosen a course such as Ashton University’s online MBA – distance learning is going to make you more organised. This is because you can study during the evenings and at weekends and you can fit this easily around your work commitments. If you are attending a physical college, this may be a little more difficult for you as you will have to factor in travelling time too.
Create a timetable that shows you where you need to be at what time. This will help you to plan the week or month ahead. Don’t forget to factor in some breaks. You will burn out quickly if you don’t come up for air every so often.
It is one thing to plan a timetable, but it is quite another thing trying to stick to it. This is where you have to be disciplined. It is easier to stay on track if you are already following a route. However, if you deviate too often you will throw yourself off track entirely and be back to square one.
Find Time to Exercise
Hitting the gym five nights per week might be out of the question if you have a hectic schedule but that doesn’t mean you should stop exercising completely. There are some great ways to fit exercise into your timetable without it taking you too much extra time. For example, if you don’t have any other plans for your lunch break then you could find time to go for a walk. If your office is not too far from home, you could walk or cycle there rather than drive. If traffic is heavy, it may even be quicker to commute this way.
Between working hard and studying hard it can be difficult to find the time to cook properly for yourself. Grabbing a bag of crisps or ordering a takeaway might be the easier option, but it won’t do your heart or your waistline any favours. If you don’t have time to cook every night, you might find it easier to batch cook at the weekend. That way you can have a healthy meal during the week, but you only have to put it in the microwave when you get home from work rather than cooking it from scratch.
It can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep when you are feeling stressed out and overloaded. Even if you aren’t burning the midnight oil you might not be able to sleep well. If your brain doesn’t switch off, it is hard for your body to relax enough to get to sleep.
A good night’s sleep is incredibly important as this gives your brain time to recover from the day and refresh itself ready to start again. If you don’t get a good night’s sleep, you will wake up feeling tired and sluggish and your performance won’t be at its best.
You can promote a good night’s sleep by turning off your electronics at least an hour before you go to bed. That means no late-night studying or sending e-mails to your team. Ban your devices from your bedroom and get an early night. If you can’t sleep then read a book as this will help your brain to switch off and you will find it easier to drift off.
Avoid Unhealthy Habits
Unhealthy habits can be easy to pick up when you are feeling stressed. You might think you find it easier to relax if you smoke cigarettes or have a glass or two of wine before bed, but this is counterproductive. Cigarettes and alcohol are stimulants which means they are more likely to keep you awake and stop you from sleeping properly. You may wake up feeling worse than you did before you went to bed, and this can hinder that great day of working and studying that you had planned. To reduce stress, reduce unhealthy habits or cut them out completely.
Connect with People
A terrific way to dissolve stress is by chatting to like-minded people about the issues you are dealing with. Connect with work colleagues who are studying or have recently finished a study programme or even link up with others on your course. Once you start chatting you will realise that most of you are in the same boat and feel as stressed as each other. This will stop you from feeling so bad as you will realise that you are not alone, and you can help and motivate each other when you need to.
It can be difficult to stay positive when you are feeling stressed, but it is important that you try to. Don’t beat yourself up too much about the things you haven’t done or the negative parts of your life. Instead, look at the bigger picture: soon you will have all the qualifications you need to land your dream job and the stress will be behind you.
Follow these tips to help you reduce stress when you are working and studying at the same time, and you will find it a lot easier. Remember why you are working yourself as hard as you are and focus on what you are working towards.