Career Advice

How to balance work, family, and studies: Tips for career changers

Career changers often face challenges like time management, burnout, and stress from multiple demands. This guide offers essential tips to maintain a healthy work-life-study balance.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by juggling work, family, and studies, you’re not alone. Balancing these responsibilities is a common challenge for career changers, but with the right strategies, it’s possible to manage everything effectively.

Career changers often struggle with:

  • Time management
  • Burnout
  • Stress from multiple demands 

It can be really challenging to keep up with studies when you're learning something completely new because you're absorbing so much new information. We've put together our top 3 tips to manage a new workload.

Tip 1: Plan and prioritise  

Set clear priorities to manage your time effectively. Determine which tasks are most pressing and tackle them first to ensure you’re focusing on what matters most. Creating a schedule is essential—use calendars and to-do lists to plan your week in advance, which helps to organise your workload and deadlines. Additionally, sticking to a routine is valuable for maintaining consistency. Establishing a daily routine helps to manage time efficiently and reduce stress, as it creates a structured approach to balancing work, study, and personal life. Prioritising, planning, and maintaining a routine are key to get a handle on balance and productivity.

Tip 2: Time management techniques 

Pomodoro technique: This is a method whereby you’ll work in focused intervals; classically 25 minutes of work followed by a 5-minute break, but you can personalise it to your taste. After 4 cycles, you’ll take a longer break of around 15-30 minutes. This is a popular technique because it makes the task at hand seem less daunting and thus easier to begin, helps you track time, and gives you a chance to give in to your usual distractions (your phone, the cat, the fridge). 

Time blocking: You can split your time into blocks in your calendar to allocate chunks of time to your daily tasks. Time blocking accounts for work, study, and leisure activities, ensuring that each part of your life gets the attention it requires. Time blocking works very well for people who need to be able to visualise their day, and for people who struggle with context-switching. You’ll be more able to focus on specific tasks, knowing that you’ve blocked out time to focus on other things later.

Avoid multitasking: Although some people are good at multitasking, most of us aren’t, and focusing on more than one task at a time is likely to decrease productivity and increase errors. Additionally, multitasking is likely to cause feelings of stress and anxiety. If you can, try to focus on one thing at a time and use the methods above to ensure that you have time for everything.

Tip 3: Self-care and flexibility 

Prioritise self-care to maintain energy and mental health. Keep up with your exercise, ensure quality sleep, and incorporate relaxation techniques into your routine. Self-care strategies are specific to everyone, so find what works for you and stick to that. 

Flexibility is equally important; life can be unpredictable, so be ready to adjust your plans without guilt. Adapting to changes as they arise helps manage stress and maintains a healthy balance.

Balancing work, family, and studies can be overwhelming, but with effective strategies, you can manage it successfully. Prioritise and plan your tasks to focus on what matters most. Use time management techniques like the Pomodoro method and time blocking to increase productivity and reduce stress. Avoid multitasking to maintain focus and efficiency. Additionally, prioritise self-care and be flexible with your plans to adapt to life's unpredictability. By incorporating these tips, you can achieve a healthy work-life-study balance, essential for mental wellbeing and long-term success. Remember, maintaining this balance is crucial for achieving your goals and sustaining overall happiness.

Need help?

If you’re struggling to keep up with the pace of your studies, our award-winning StudentCare™ team are on hand to help you with your queries and will endeavour to soften the impact of your new routine. 

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