Some students don’t have to work, they get a loan which helps them afford living on their own whilst at uni. Other ones who also got used to eating and sleeping in a cosy bed, have to find a job. Finding a job that you would actually like is pretty hard but not as hard as finding a job where you don’t have to work full-time so that you can afford food, rent and other extra expenses. Maybe I just have a bad money-spending habit but sometimes I do need more than £700 per month. Considering that over 2/3 goes towards my rent and I want to save a bit (and also I like treating myself to a new pair of shoes or yet another black jeans) working part-time is not an option for me.
In my case time planning is a very important thing. Staying on top of my course work, going to lectures, having a tiny bit of social life and working full-time doesn’t really leave me much time for myself. Okay, I just don’t get any time for myself usually. Time planning is something that everyone needs to learn as it usually doesn’t come to us naturally. So here are some of my tips and tricks to get that extra 30 minutes of sleep or watching your favourite Netflix show!
- Don’t leave uni stuff and think that you are going to do it last minute! Because you won’t and if you do – honey, don’t lie to yourself you won’t do a good job. My course got a bit reading heavy in the second year, mainly because since I started working full-time I don’t usually get evenings off and that’s my favourite time to sit down and read. Don’t try and do everything at once, space it out throughout the week so that you can come back to whatever you have to do with a clear head and more motivation to finish what you’ve started. Plan your breaks and tr not to waste your times looking at pictures of dogs/cats online. I know it’s hard but once you get used to the fact that you have 5 minutes coffee break it’s going to be easier and you will get a bit more productive.
- Prepare food the next day the day before. Plan what you’re going to eat and then the next day you won’t have to waste your time on looking inside the fridge wondering if you want a salad or a sandwich. Easy, but time saving.
- Don’t let your friends distract you. Give yourself some time to finish your work so that you won’t have to worry about it while watching a movie because your flatmate just really really really wanted to watch it that very minute. If you are done with your work, you are going to have more than an hour to hang out with people.
- Get your sleep pattern on point – sleep is more than something that everyone loves to do. It’s a important factor when you have to balance your life between work, friends and uni. Taking a day off to nap all day is not a crime and it will help you to be more productive later on. Get that eight hours of sleep and trust me – you are going to have much more energy to deal with everything.
- Make a list of everything you have to do. There is nothing more satisfying than being able to cross off completed tasks.
- Treat yourself – do you think you did a good job working hard for a few hours? Take additional ten minutes of a break before work, take a nap, make yourself a cup of hot chocolate. Your brain can be productive only for so long and then it needs to relax before going back to working.
- Find a job that won’t feel like a torture, I’ve been there and there is nothing worse than waking up mad that you have to go to that place again and moreover you have to spend there 5-8 hours. If you don’t like your coworkers – it’s never going to change. I’m lucky enough to work with amazing people who make my shift feel more like time to hang out with friends so usually I don’t get back home as tired as I used to.
- Write down important dates like deadlines etc. and put it up on your wall – this will help you to remember and motivate you to start your research in advance.