7 Ways Working Students Can Tackle Academic and Work Pressure

A woman on her cell phone is looking confused as she stares at the laptop screen

Going to school is tough enough. You have to attend classes, do homework, prepare for exams, and whatnot to get good grades and maintain your GPA. And when you add work into the mix, it can get extraordinarily nerve-wracking and overwhelming. You might feel like you’re constantly tackling a million things at once and never have time for yourself.

Millions of students around the world are in the same boat as you. They are working to pay for their education and support themselves or their families. Having no time for anything else is a common struggle.

However, there are ways to manage academic and work pressure so you can still enjoy your life outside school and work.

1. Schedule Your Time Wisely.

Unlike other commitments, school and work tend to be not so flexible. Each has varying deadlines, meetings, and events you must work around. The best way to remain on top of everything is to schedule your time accordingly.

  • Get a planner or open up the calendar app on your phone and start mapping out your week.
  • Include all of your upcoming deadlines, events, and meetings.
  • Once you have everything written down, you can begin to see where you have some free time.
  • Use that free time to your advantage.

Most importantly, look for online resources to manage time. For instance, eLearning is a proven way to utilize time wisely, especially for medical students. If you’re enrolled in online BSN courses, you can use your free time to work on assignments or participate in discussion boards.

But remember to schedule some time for yourself, too. You should include things like working out, spending time with friends and family members, or doing things you enjoy. And it’s important to leave some room in your schedule if something unexpected comes up.

2. Prioritize Your Health and Wellness.

It’s easy to let your health and mental wellness fall by the wayside when juggling with mounting responsibilities. But it’s essential to make time for taking care of yourself. Maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep is crucial for maintaining your health and well-being.

When you’re physically and mentally healthy, you’re better able to manage pressure and remain productive. It’ll also help prevent burnout and other health problems.

So, prioritize your health and wellness, even when you’re busy.

3. Don’t Commit to More Than Your Capacity.

Whether at work, home, or school, you should know your limits and not try to be a superhero by taking on too much. It’s essential to be realistic about what you can commit to without spreading yourself too thin.

Doing too much in less time can lead to excessive stress, subpar work, and even health problems. It’s crucial to know when to say “no.” Think twice before you agree to take on a new project at work or sign up for that extracurricular activity. Make sure you can handle it without compromising your other commitments. And if you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to seek help from a loved one or colleague.

4. Communicate With Your Employer and Academic Advisor.

Being a working student and not letting your employer or academic advisor know about your situation is a recipe for disaster. How do you expect them to be understanding and accommodating if they aren’t aware of what you’re going through?

The key to maintaining a healthy work-life balance as a working student is to keep the lines of communication transparent and open with your employer and academic advisor. At times, they are more understanding and willing to help than you think. Talk to them about your situation and explain what you need from them to succeed.

For example, if you’re struggling to keep up with your coursework, talk to your academic advisor about possibly reducing your load or giving some flexibility. Or, if your job workload prevents you from completing your schoolwork, talk to your employer about adjusting your hours or taking on a different role.

5. Practice Meditating.

Studies show meditation can help reduce anxiety and stress and improve focus, concentration, and sleep. So, whenever you feel overwhelmed, anxious, or need a break, try sitting quietly and focusing on your breathing for a few minutes. You can also try other types of meditation, such as yoga or mindfulness meditation.

Meditation also calms you down. It helps you focus on the present and let go of any worries or regrets. Refocus on your breath or a mantra if your mind starts to wander.

You don’t need to meditate for hours — even a few minutes daily can make a difference. And there’s no “right” way to meditate, so don’t worry if it feels weird at first. Find a peaceful place, cross your legs, close your eyes, and breathe slowly and deeply.

6. Don’t Waste Time.

The time you have on hand is already limited, so you can’t afford to waste any of it. That means no browsing social media or checking your email every five minutes (unless it’s something urgent). It also means not spending hours on something that could have been done in 20 minutes.

To remain productive, you must practice focusing and learning to block distractions. Change places if you’re unable to concentrate in a specific environment. If you need help staying on task, plenty of apps and tools can assist you.

Use every and any opportunity to get things done. Procrastinating will only make your to-do list grow and make you feel overwhelmed.

7. Know Your Stressors.

We all have different stressors, and what stresses one person out may not bother another. It’s important to know what your stressors are and how to deal with them. Otherwise, they will continue to bother you and affect your productivity.

Some everyday stressors include:

  • Work deadlines
  • Financial problems
  • Family issues
  • Relationship problems
  • Health problems

If you can identify your stressors, you can find ways to deal with them. And once your stressors are under control, you’ll be able to focus more on your work and be more productive.

Beat the Stress

Working alongside pursuing studies is not everyone’s cup of tea. If you’re one of those people determined to make it work, you must schedule your time and priorities wisely and take care of your health and wellness. Learning to manage stress and communicating with your employer and advisor is also crucial. You can successfully balance work and school with some planning and effort.

Remember, you’re on your way to becoming a successful, independent adult with a great career ahead of you. So, don’t let anything get in your way. Stay focused and always keep moving forward.

Featured Image Credit: Y-Boychenko /Depositphotos.com.

This post originally appeared on Ash & Pri.

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Pri Kingston

Ash & Pri are the Founders of AshandPri.com and have spent the last decade building their way towards financial freedom and a lifetime of memories. Having successfully achieved their early retirement goal in under 10 years, they look forward to sharing their financial sense with like-minded people. Read more about Ash & Pri in the 'About Us' section.