Contrary to popular belief, college students have a lot to do in a given day other then partying. Class, homework, daily chores, sneaking in some social time and sometimes work need to be all stuffed in a 24-hour period. If you’re freelancing while in college, it can seem almost impossible to get things done–unless you become an insomniac and just learn to rarely sleep, but that’s very unhealthy. There is a way to balance freelance work and school work.
What’s the secret? Easy: time management.
Time management is something that many college students tend to neglect or never learn at all, which can be very detrimental to their college life and beyond.
Here are some steps toward better time management:
1. Set up a time table–or schedule–of your daily tasks for a week. Record what you do, at what time.
2. After that week is finished, figure out where most of your time is going into.
3. If you have a lot of “idle” time, where you’re doing nothing, utilize that time!
4. Fix your schedule accordingly and review it after another week of trying things differently.
“But,” you ask. “What about time to relax?” Well, you can still have time to relax if you manage your time wisely. Figure out what exactly is the most important tasks to get done during the day; whether it is a project due, assignments from freelancing, homework or studying. These sorts of things should always get top priority when re-working your schedule.
From there, fill up your schedule with the things that aren’t as important to get done that very day. Allot time accordingly.
Here are some hints to take into consideration:
– Teachers usually advise that you study for every class at least two hours each day. However, this can be time consuming, especially if you already know the subject matter very well. Determine what you need to study and what can be given less time.
– There are going to be times when you just have to buckle down and get stuff done, which means probably missing out on that party or get together. Think of it like this: you’re investing in your future, and there will always be more parties to go to.
– If needed, keep a calendar or schedule book. It will help!
– The nice thing about freelancing is that you control how little or how much you can work on at a given time. If school is starting to become too hectic, consider taking in less work from your freelancing or vice versa; if things are slow at school, pick up some more assignments for money.
While some might argue the value between freelancing or school work, both can be equally important in the long run. This isn’t a cop out to let you skip on homework, though! While earning money may leave a warm, fuzzy feeling, staying on top of school work is also very important and will give you that same feeling once exams are over and you have that degree.
Personally, I keep a schedule book and alternate what I do each given day. So, one day I might just focus all on my class work while the next day will be mostly devoted to freelancing assignments. Sometimes–mostly on weekends–it will be a mixture of both. This isn’t the only way to balance freelance work and school work, but it is worth a try. Figure out what is most comfortable for you.
Though balancing the two might feel awkward at first, or like it is not improving, let yourself get into the swing of things before passing judgment. Once you set up a perfect schedule, things will get done quickly and then you’ll have free time to socialize or just lounge around.
On a final note, regardless of what you might think, no one can truly multi-task and while it might seem like the best choice, it’s not. Balance freelance work and school work so that each is given proper attention instead of short bursts every fifteen minutes. Your brain will thank you!
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