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Life can get pretty hectic when you’re trying to juggle multiple things at once. Completing an apprenticeship is a perfect example of this, and for many students who opt to go down the apprenticeship route balancing studying with a job can seem like a pretty daunting challenge. Taking on an apprenticeship is a time of change and while it is often an exciting time, the challenge of balancing studying and work can easily lead to apprentices feeling overwhelmed or overworked.
However, with the right amount of planning, dedication and motivation, apprentices can learn to effectively juggle the various aspects of their lives in a way that ensures they are getting the most out of everything.
One of the best ways to keep on top of your timetable and ensure that you are dedicating enough time to your studies is to make a detailed schedule - and then stick to it!
Invest in a sturdy diary or calendar, or an online option like Google Calendar, and then spend some time filling it in in real detail. Having a schedule is a great way to ensure that you keep on top of your priorities, and also gives you the chance to schedule time for much-needed rest and recuperation. The more details you include in your calendar, the better prepared you’ll be to tackle each day, and the more likely you are to stick to it. Include everything; class times, work hours, off the job training hours, doctors appointments, gym classes… the list goes on. This will not only help you to better organise yourself, but also means that you will know exactly when you have time to spare. Whilst it may seem like a bit of a chore, creating a calendar is a tried and tested technique in the world of organisation, and trust us - it works!
Whilst at times frustrating, trying to juggle a social life, work and studying is likely to cause some clashes, no matter how well organised you are. The key here is to communicate - whether that be with your friends, your boss or your teachers; everyone is sure to be far more understanding if you communicate in advance and change your plans, work or study schedule accordingly. Most bosses will tend to be empathetic towards their apprentices’ situations. Remember that they want you to succeed, and as long as you provide plenty of notice and try to offer solutions, they will usually do all they can to help you. Equally, training providers understand that apprentice students are holding down a job as well as studying, so if you find that you're in need of extra time for a deadline or are required in the office when it's time for a class, email the appropriate person in advance letting them know you won’t make it and they will be able to help find a solution. If your job is having a real impact on your studies, such as preventing you from meeting your off the job training hours, then reach out to the support at White Hat to talk about how to combat this.
If you’re struggling to balance your job with your studies, it is vital that you stay organised, and don’t leave things to the last minute. Pulling an all-nighter before an assessment or ahead of a long day at work because you spent the day ‘Netflix and chilling’ is never a good idea and could seriously impact your performance. Whilst, of course, no one will begrudge your downtime, it is crucial that you stay on top of things. Break down your studying into manageable chunks and then tick things off as you go - this will help you to plan ahead, keep your stress levels in check and ensure you perform to the best of your abilities, no matter what challenges you may face.
Whilst having a job and studying at the same time means you will likely have a pretty hectic schedule, it is important that you always take some time for yourself, to do the things that you enjoy and get some rest. You will not be able to perform to your best if you are not getting enough rest, and, let’s face it, you’ll be pretty miserable if you’re not taking the time to see your friends and have fun.
Whilst this one may sound obvious, procrastinating is the enemy of productivity and can really hinder your chances of successfully juggling your job, academic work and social life. Whilst it might seem like a good idea at the time, delaying things with the promise of ‘doing it tomorrow’ is more than likely to lead to a huge pile-up of work. This will not only decrease your chances of getting everything ticked off your to-do list, but will also increase your stress levels.
Another way to help maximise your energy levels and ensure you are feeling your best every day is to practice a healthy lifestyle. Whilst the odd night on the town with your friends is inevitable, eating healthy and nutritious foods, getting plenty of exercise and getting lots of sleep will help to boost both your brain and your body’s performance. It will also promote productivity and knowledge retention, alongside increasing your ability to focus and make sharp and well-informed decisions. Life is all about balance - but if you’re particularly busy then prioritising your health and wellbeing is of the utmost importance.
Betsy Kharas is Digital Marketing Lead at Tutor House