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Balancing work and study

Ways to limit the strain on your time

When Richard leaves the office at 5.30pm, his working day is often far from over – the 24-year-old is part of a tribe of people who are working full-time while studying for a qualification after his day job is over.

Combining full-time work with study isn’t easy, but there are ways to limit the strain on your time.

One way of drawing a fine line between work and everything else, is to keep them physically separate,

Find new work spaces:

advises: Despite some studies indicating that working from home is more productive than working in the office, it isn’t for everyone. If the office isn’t an option and you can’t work in cafes, consider joining a co-working space that is open in the evenings, or check the opening hours of your nearest coffee shops, or cyber cafè.

Get a support system:

“If you can outsource some of your current commitments (for example, to a cleaner, a babysitter, a grocery delivery service), you can carve out more time for your studies without having to stay awake until 2 o’clock every morning,” she says. “It’s also useful to have a contingency plan in place. Do you have a reliable babysitter, or family members who can be on stand by?”

Tell your boss:

Telling your manager that you are intending to study part-time is important. You may need to discuss what you will no longer be able to do – such as extra hours, business trips during term time – as well as the kind of support you need. “You might want to take most of your annual leave during the exam period, or at the end of the summer when your dissertation is due.

You may need to reduce or rearrange your hours so that you have particular times during the week free to attend lectures or seminars, or meet with your dissertation supervisor.”

Technology:

“When you’ve scheduled study time for yourself, turn off notifications for your work email and focus on the task at hand. Being constantly connected facilitates ‘work creep’,

where work expands to take up time in other domains (like home or university), and that can be damaging to your personal well being, your relationships with friends and family members, and the progression of your studies.”

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Anthony Ansong

Ceo - Ansong Holdings LLC Co-Founder & Editor Light Magazine Africa Author of Children Book Entrepreneur

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