Working while studying is one of the newest options available for professionals. It puts the power of your career and your education in your hands. Forget those days of previous generations who either had to quit their jobs to go back to school or take night classes at a specific location. By cutting out the commute and by putting your education on your own timetable, you can fit your degree around a healthy balance.
Your health is paramount when taking on a career and a degree. Time management is just the tool to keep everything balanced.
Juggling a career with an online master’s degree is no walk in the park, but knowing what to expect and what strategies tend to be effective from the outset can help you manage your expectations and work to complete that master’s in a year or two.
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What your Online Master’s Needs for You to Be Successful
Let’s start with the degree itself. There are many great options available out there. You can earn a masters in lean manufacturing entirely online nowadays and be able to employ solid engineering concepts with Six Sigma Tools and lean management concepts. You can even add on just five additional courses to earn a MBA at the same time. What makes this degree stand out, however, is that it is designed for working professionals.
You can have the best syllabus in the world, but if it isn’t designed to be completed online, and has instead just been translated for a digital world in the wake of the pandemic, then your education is going to struggle because you yourself are not supported. Find the right degree that includes all the topics you feel are essential to progress your degree, and then ensure it has all the additional tools and support necessary to make it intuitive to learn online.
Invest in the Right Tools
There are many tools available that make it easier to learn online in a digital environment. There are note-taking tools, online study sessions you can use to make your studying more social – even with those who aren’t doing the same degree as you. There are digital coffee shop environments that allow you to recreate the ambiance that many find is conducive to studying wherever and whenever you are.
Having these tools available to you and figuring out which ones work best for you can change the game completely, so try them out before you get started.
Build Up Your Routine
Routine might not be where creativity flourishes, but it is where commitment happens. When you are consistent with your routine, things that take a lot of energy initially tend to taper off, allowing you to get the work done without overloading yourself. Sensory input and new experiences take more cognitive power to process, so by normalizing your extra study time, you can ease yourself into your degree and work harder without feeling like you are.
A good way to do this in advance is to find a fun online course before your degree begins. This course should be free, and it can be on absolutely any topic you find of interest. Just set aside a block of time every day and learn. When your degree finally begins, you can then switch from the online course model to your degree model with ease.
Improve Your Health
You are what you eat is a good motto to have because your body needs vitamins and nutrients to work at full power. This isn’t just a matter of how you feel physically, either. Everything relates back to your brain and cognitive health. By improving your diet, your exercise, and your sleep quality, you can feel more alert and find that learning is a breeze.
Start with Your Diet
A good place to get started is with your diet. It will have the most profound impact on your day-to-day and takes the longest to adjust. We crave foods, especially foods high in sugar, salt, or fats. They taste good and make a feedback loop in our brains, even if the rest of our bodies don’t benefit. Switch out unhealthy foods for healthier ones, and feel better.
Find Healthy Hobbies You Resonate With
Healthy habits and hobbies need to resonate with you. That being said, don’t give up on something after the first try. Commit for a week or two to see if you mesh with the healthy habit or if you need to go back to the drawing board.
Be Kind to Yourself
Above all, be kind to yourself. Ask for help when you need it, both professionally and personally. This is how you will succeed because you are not in this alone.
Written by Meghan Hale, a content writer at SendKoala and editing machine. You’ll find me yelling at my dog to stop barking, whether it be at the neighbours or on a long afternoon walk