Working Professional's Guide to Studying While Working

man studying

In a perfect world, you could study and not have to worry about working. The reality is that many students face a constant juggling act between work and school. While challenging, it is possible to successfully budget study time around work obligations. Consider these tips for doing so.

Practice Time Management

Setting up daily and weekly plans for your time is critical to success in working and studying. Take some time to study your schedule and block out times for everything: studying, work time, even personal time and chores. With some planning you can take control of your time and schedule before they take control of you.

Set Up a Distraction-Free Study Area

Create a comfortable, quiet place at home for studying where you keep your textbooks and computer. That way you can sneak off to study whenever you have a free moment. If possible, make this retreat off limits to your family.

Make the Most of Your Commute

Chances are good that your daily commute is at least 20 minutes. Use this opportunity to get some studying done. If you use public transportation, you can read. When you drive, consider listening to audio CDs that are available for many textbooks. You can also convert digital written files into audio files and listen to them while commuting.

Take Time off to Study

It’s impossible to do it all. It may become necessary to take some time off of work in order to get caught up on coursework or to study for an exam. If possible, take a vacation day to work on a big project or prepare for a major exam.

Appreciate the Fact That You Work

Although it might seem like more traditional students have it easy compared to someone like you who must balance work and school, you have the advantage of getting a valuable bird’s eye view of the work world. This fact can give you perspective regarding how businesses run. Even if you’re working in an unrelated field, the skills you’re gathering in the work world, such as dealing with colleagues or clients and prioritizing, will serve you well when you get a job with your MBA degree. You also have a leg up when it comes to networking, since you’re in contact with working people on a regular basis.

Working while going to school is often the only practical path to advancing your education. Dedicating enough time to both is a constant struggle. By using these tips, you can get through this busy time more successfully and find enjoyment in the process.


Written by Ashford University staff.

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