7 Tips To Balance School and Work

By Taryn Kuczynski, April 2016

Finding the balance between your schoolwork and your career can be challenging and overwhelming at times. I find that achieving one goal at a time works best for me. I like to celebrate the small victories and I notice that the nerves calm down with each check off of the list, whether it is schoolwork or a workplace obligation.

This is always a very individualized process, in my opinion; however, these are seven tips that do the trick for me.

1. Set your schedule for the week ahead to get yourself organized.

On Sunday or Monday, plan your time based on deadlines for that week and do not forget to allow for your personal time to include family and personal breaks.

2. Reward yourself and celebrate your week of success.

Take an extra hour for yourself, go shopping, or do whatever you would like to reward yourself.

3. Find your support system.

Mine happens to be my husband. He and I have a great team effort of juggling all of our responsibilities. We share our family calendar on our devices to help keep track of deadlines for our school and work schedules. This lets each of us know when the other needs to pick up the majority of household duties or watching the kids, so that the other can get their work done and stay focused.

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4. Try your best to handle one issue at a time.

One thing that I have to remind myself of often is to focus on what I have to do and to get it completed now. If you are busy worrying about what you need from the store or if your partner picked up the kids, you aren’t focused on the task at hand and your schedule will run behind. Try not to focus on missing out with family when at work or doing a school project, because you won’t be focused on getting your work done and it will actually take more of your personal time away from you. The same goes for your personal time. Try your best not to think about the deadlines and instead enjoy that time with your friends and family.

5. Don’t focus on perfection with your grades.

This is something my husband has to constantly remind me of. I put way too much stress on myself to get straight A’s, which is stress nobody needs if you already have a lot on your plate.

6. Learn to say ‘no’

I know it will work for some of you and I hear that it is a great thing to know how to do. I am a volunteer on two Cybersecurity projects, a mom of two, employed, and a full-time student (13 hours this semester). Your responsibilities at work, school, and home will be enough of a challenge. So try not to be like me and take on too much at a time. But if you do, remind yourself that this time crunch is only temporary!

7. Finally, remember that nobody is perfect.

You can’t do it all flawlessly, but you can give it your best effort. Most importantly, take care of yourself emotionally and physically. Eat right, exercise, and get a good amount of sleep. If you don't take time for yourself and take care of yourself, you can run yourself down to a point where nothing gets done.

About the Author

Taryn Kuczynski is a senior (full-time online student) at the School of Business and Justice Studies. She is a 33-year-old mother of two that had some speed bumps in her studies plan, but never gave up and is so close to the finish line. She is happily married to her best friend who is a Master's in Cybersecurity student at Utica. She loves to hang out with her family and work on cyber studies projects with her husband and his employers. She also plays tennis, loves to cook and enjoys photo editing. She has two labradoodles and a Bengal/tabby mix that are her little babies too! After completing her Bachelor's Degree, she plans on working full-time while continuing her education through the Master's program at Utica College.