Balancing school and work can be difficult. Both often require 40 hours of your attention a week, leading to an overwhelming feeling where you don’t know if you can do both. Don’t worry though, as there are ways to manage time and stress that can help lead you to your paycheck and your degree with online classes.
Here is everything you need to know about how to take online classes while working.
Table of Contents
1. Planning for Online Classes Is Important
While this seems like a simple thing to do, it is often passed up in reality. Time management is a key component for taking online classes, as you are often not on any schedule. This means if you don’t have self-discipline, you may find yourself unable to properly set up a time to work on school work.
If you know your schedule two weeks in advance, plan your schoolwork around that schedule. A good tip for online students is to try and get their school work done before they go to work. It takes away the stress and anxiety of not being able to do the work while you’re at your job.
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2. Don’t Skip Out on Sleep
Going to school online means that you are on your own schedule, but that doesn’t mean skipping out on sleep is a good thing to do. Sleep is an important part of any healthy lifestyle, as it is when your body is recovering.
Everyone works best on a different number for sleep. Whether your preferred number is six hours or eight hours, make sure that you are getting it. Sleep also helps with critical thinking, making classes all that much easier.
If you have trouble getting to sleep, try meditating before bed, taking sleep supplements, or even journaling. Each method has its own benefits, but skipping out on sleep is never the answer.
3. Learn When You’re Productive
Everyone has a different time when they are productive. This could mean you’re an earlier bird that likes to get up and get going. Or you’re a night owl that loves to work until it’s almost sunrise. Regardless of what you’re time is, learn it and capitalize on it.
When we learn our productive time, you’re working on your schedule to get the hard tasks out of the way. We only have a set number of productive hours in a week before we start to experience burnout, so we need to capitalize on them where possible.
You’re not limited to one productive-cycle either. Certain people work best at two different times of the day. They could get half of their work done first thing in the morning and then the second half right before bed.
4. Contact Classmates for Help
You may be in an online class, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have classmates. While it seems awkward just reaching out to a stranger that you have no idea what they look like, at the end of the day, you’re both trying to pass the class.
If there is a topic you don’t understand, be sure to reach out to a classmate to see if they do. This is also great for building connections, as you are now no longer a stranger to them. You’ll both benefit down the road when you stay connected.
If that feels a little too stressful, be sure to contact your professor or teacher’s assistant. These individuals are here to see you succeed, despite common beliefs that they are out to get you.
They often appreciate the communication with their online students, as it creates a more personal bond that would otherwise be left out because of the lack of face to face interaction.
5. See If You Can Multitask at Work during Online Classes
Most of these tips for online classes have been based on being at home, but the reality is, you’re going to have to be on the clock as well. Talk to your supervisor to see if it is possible to multitask while at work. You could try either working on problems or reading your textbook.
Try to keep it to tasks that are simple and don’t require a lot of attention. You are still at work, so that should be your priority during this time. But if there is downtime, don’t just use that to sit on your phone, use it to get ahead on your online classwork.
6. Get Out of the House If Possible
This may not be possible, but if you’re in a position where it is, you should get out of the house to do school work. When you get out of the house, you’re not focused on all the other household chores that need to be done. This limits distractions that would otherwise eat into your productivity time.
You don’t necessarily need to go to a coffee shop or library, you can opt for a family members house or friends if you need to. The goal is to keep you focused and limit distractions where possible.
7. Talk to Friends and Family
Keeping up with your mental health is just as important as keeping up with school work and work-work. Be sure to keep an open line of communication with your friends and family, as they can help talk you through the stressful times.
While this is a time where you’re busting your butt to get where you need to in life, don’t forget that you do have a support system there for you. Utilize this support system to get yourself out of the house, onto a video call, or just simply texting to help get through the semesters.
How to Take Online Classes While Working: Key Takeaways
When you learn how to take online classes effectively, you’re setting yourself up for a lifetime of prosperity. Balancing work and school will never be easy, but pushing through can lead to great things in your career.
If you want to learn more about what the world has to offer and how to conquer it, be sure to check out the rest of our blog. If you know someone that is struggling with work and school, be sure to share this article with them.