Tips on How to Juggle Study and Work in a Crisis
Managing work during a crisis can be highly demanding. It’s something many of us have discovered during this unprecedented Covid-19 lockdown. If you’re also trying to study and further your career, it can be even more challenging.
Here we look at a few tips for keeping the balance right if you are remote working from home and maintaining your studies when work practice and demands on individual employees have changed so dramatically.
Planning Your Study
Many of us have gone from a fairly structured routine to an entirely new one. If you have previously remote worked, all well and good. For the vast majority of individuals, however, it’s been a new, sometimes frightening but ultimately enlightening experience.
In normal times, you would have set days and hours working. Now, you might have other challenges to contend with.
- If your children haven’t yet returned to school, you may be tasked with providing education and playing the role of teacher. That in turn, could mean you need to be more flexible about when you work which can also impinge on your study time.
- You may have been asked to redeploy and learn new skills, doing something more challenging than your everyday job. You might even be doing a lot more work than you used to.
It’s vital that, with all this additional activity, that you plan your study effectively and simply don’t put your career development on hold. That may mean setting times when you will devote exclusively to learning. You might, for instance, reduce things to bite-sized study opportunities or have lists of what you want to achieve each day.
Finding Online Learning Opportunities
If you have been attending physical classes, these more than likely stopped once the lockdown came into effect. There are opportunities to learn online, however, and this can be a great substitute to help you keep up your study and not lose ground.
Step Back From Work
It’s easy to get into a situation where you are either working or doing something like home-schooling and therefore finding no time at all for study. It’s important to talk things through with your manager to make sure you can deliver on their needs but also give yourself time for learning and the attention that deserves.
Get into the habit of making lists of tasks to do for work and for learning each day rather than setting aside X hours for one or the other and approaching things ad hoc. That way, if you finish your work tasks early, you have more time to devote to study. It’s essential to have this balance and maintain focus.
The good news is that managers have become more flexible in the light of Covid-19 so work with yours to find solutions to your needs.
It’s easy to get into bad habits and one thing that has suffered under lockdown for many people is wellbeing. Drinking has risen significantly (we’re starting earlier in the day and imbibing more) and we’re eating unhealthily and not getting enough exercise.
It’s vital to prioritise not just your physical but your mental health as well. Both have an impact on our ability to learn and focus. You should set some time each day to do some physical exercise, whether that’s a walk outside or a HIIT session in your living room. Also, commit to healthy eating and drinking plenty of water.
You should also have activities that are neither work or study. Try something new such as taking up a creative art or spending time in the garden if you have one. Learn to play the guitar or develop a new skill such as juggling. It’s a brilliant way to recharge your batteries and help your mind refocus on what’s important.