They say, "the more you do, the more you CAN do," and if you're balancing work and school, you know that this can be true. It can also be the hardest thing you've ever done and you may feel like you're failing at everything, instead of succeeding at both.
1) To the extent possible, make your job and education compatible. If you are studying to become an accountant, perhaps a part-time job as a tax preparer is a good fit. In some cases, if you are advancing in the field you already work in, your employer may be willing to help fund some of your education, or at least allow you some on-the-job study time.
2) If your job and education are unrelated, do what you can to maximize flexibility for both. This could mean pursuing an online education, where you work at your own pace, or it could mean attending a bricks and mortar educational facility but working from home or freelancing. The National Center for Educational Statistics lists 5,522,194 students taking undergraduate and graduate courses remotely in 2013, the most recent data available, and the number has most likely grown in the past two years. Online education is a growing option for people balancing work and school, and many colleges and universities offer courses in the evenings and on weekends.
3)Plan your time wisely. Make every minute count by keeping a schedule of when you will be working on your schoolwork, and stick to it. Apps like SelfControl allow you to block time-wasting social media sites if you find yourself clicking mindlessly.
4) Enlist the help of your family. Balancing work and school is impossible without the support of those around you. Keep them apprised of your progress and don't be afraid to ask for help. They may be willing to babysit or otherwise free up study time for you and telling them about your work will keep you accountable.
5) Don't get discouraged! Take short breaks for exercise and other activities to give your mind and body a rest. Although it sometimes feels like it, the balancing act won't last forever.
Finally, make sure you recognise if you've gotten yourself in over your head. If you are having symptoms of depression, sleeplessness or other serious conditions, see a doctor. Some stress is normal, but high levels of stress for prolonged periods can be dangerous. Be honest with yourself about how much time you can devote to classes and don't be afraid to cut back if you need to.
According to a Georgetown University report, nearly 14 million Americans work while taking classes, making up about 70 to 80 percent of college students, and nearly 10 percent of the overall labor force. You're not alone, and the benefits of a more fulfilling career will last a lifetime.