Hey guys! Welcome back. I hope you are having a great week. One of the questions I get asked a lot is how I balance grad school with a full time job and blogging. So I figured I would sit down today and talk about a few things that I have learned and started doing that help me balance it all. I will say it’s not a perfect system and there is definitely still some stress and overwhelm involved, but it’s not nearly as much as it could otherwise be if I wasn’t doing these things. So hopefully this helps if you are currently in grad school with a full time job or thinking about it.
1. I utilize my days off.
I have Wednesdays and Saturdays off, and since most of my assignments are due on Saturdays it works out really well. But I really try to make sure I am using Wednesday to my full advantage. I don’t spend the whole day doing work, but I try to do as much as I can. When I get off work everyday I try to do my best to get something done so it’s not all piled up on Wednesday and Saturday, but I know I’m not going to get as much done as I would like on the days I’m working. So I really just try to make sure I am using my days off efficiently.
2. Managing my time.
It sounds easier said than done, and trust me it is. But it’s way harder to get anything done if I’m not actively managing my time. Even though unexpected things come up and life definitely gets in the way sometimes, as long as I know the majority of the things I have going on are planned, I’m way more comfortable moving throughout the days and weeks. I know when I need to be at work and I know when I needed to be working on stuff for class. Google Calendar has been a tool I have used a lot for many years now and it helps me time block and make sure everything has a scheduled time.
3. Streamline tasks.
When it comes to work or grad school I have to give both my undivided attention. So when I start working either one I streamline my tasks. That’s easy with my job because there is a set time I have to be there and I know exactly what I need to be doing. With class though it’s a bit more challenging because it’s easy to get distracted and not spend as much time focused as I should be. So I try to streamline those tasks. If I have reading I try to get it all done at once. If it’s writing a paper I try to get it done in as few periods of time as possible. I can’t get everything done in one sitting but I try to get as much done as I can so I don’t have to keep trying to get focused all the time.
4. Communicate with others.
When it comes to trying to get everything done and making sure I stay on top of everything, I find that it’s not only important, but helpful to let the people in my life know what’s going on. It’s important so they know you aren’t ignoring them or upset with them when you are super busy, and it’s helpful because they can act as a support system for you. Whether it’s letting your boss know that you are swamped to see if there is some flexibility, or chatting with your friends so they can lift your friends and help you relieve some stress, having people in your life that know what’s going on and can help you in different ways can really help you feel less stressed and overwhelmed.
5. Take lots of breaks.
It may seem counterproductive to take a lot of breaks, but trust me it’s not. I know for me if I am constantly working and not giving myself any kind of break I get burned out really easily and end up not finishing anything at all. So I try to make sure I’m taking enough breaks and even giving myself days off if I really feel like I need it. It helps keep me from burning out as much and helps me keep my focus and maintain a good routine and schedule for myself. It’s definitely not perfect, but I try my best and I also make sure I am getting enough sleep as much as I can.
Balancing grad school and a full time job is definitely not easy. It’s a challenge that can seem daunting at first, but once you get in the groove of it and you know what to expect it gets easier. You learn as you go and you won’t beat yourself up as much. Thank you so much for stopping by! I really hope you enjoyed this. Please like it if you did. If you have any other questions about grad school or posts you would like to see, let me know in the comments. Don’t forget to follow before you leave if you have not already and I hope to see you next time!