Part-time courses are a great way for people to develop new skills or refine their current skills,  especially, to remain competitive in the job market.  However, if you are taking courses while also working, paying bills, trying to keep up with friends and family and the various factors of your life, it can seem like an overwhelming experience.

It is possible, though, to keep on top of your courses and regular responsibilities with some planning and discipline.

Here are three tips for balancing work and part-time courses:

  1. Plan and Create a Routine

Once you have your course schedule and deadlines, you should map them out on a calendar.  This will ensure that you stay on top of all classes, tasks and exams.  Further to this, however, you should also plan out the workload, times for studying and downtime.  However, you need to consider a few things:

  • Be realistic about times: you must be honest about how long it takes you to complete certain tasks, especially studying or practising. This will help you have a more practical approach to your time.
  • Create a Routine: to make it easier on yourself, create a routine. This will help you keep on top of what you need to do and form a habit that will ultimately make the process second nature to you.
  • Fit in Your Other Responsibilities: consider your other work and life commitments and also include them on the calendar so that you don’t neglect work responsibilities or life commitments.
  1. Get Support from Your Employer

If you are thinking about doing a course or if you are about to start one, ask your employer or the HR department if they have any study policies or how they support workers who are studying.  These policies help employees adjust their work schedule where possible or take time off for exams.  In many cases, even if they don’t have these policies, they will be willing to make some adjustments if you can show them how these skills can improve your capabilities in the organization.

  1. Don’t Neglect Your Down Time

It will be hard to fit in all of your responsibilities during this time, however, don’t neglect your time to relax.  One of the easiest ways to burn out is to overdo and not let your body and mind get some downtime.  You should also include this on your calendar so that you give your responsibilities and your relaxation the time they all deserve.  Part of balancing work and part-time courses is having the time to relax and recharge.

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