“How do you balance between having 2 part-time jobs, freelancing and being a full-time Engineering student?”
The truth is, I don’t always find my balance. A lot of times, my priorities get mixed up and I get overwhelmed. Sometimes I’m late on deadlines, other times I overwork myself to the point of exhaustion.
I wouldn’t say these methods changed my life completely but they did help me greatly.
Scheduling is not overrated
A method that helped me have time for many things is to have a clear schedule of my days. I added in the university classes, the day off, the workout sessions, work hours & even studying hours. I don’t necessarily follow it 100% of the time, but at least 70% of my time is organised.
Here’s a screenshot of the personalised schedule that I made:
You can download this as an Excel in the button below and fill it up with your own schedule!
How to schedule:
- Add all of your classes and times in the schedule. Keep in mind the fact that there will be time for commute, time to chat with your friends before & after classes.
- Add working hours — as part-time you should only have specific hours a week in which you work, or office hours. Add those in after the classes.
- Check your free slots and see where you can add study hours and catching up hours in case you need them.
- After finalising your classes, work hours & study hours, you can add in extra things like exercising, sports or any leisure activities.
However, don’t overwhelm yourself and try as much as possible to eliminate any useless hours/activities. This takes us to the next point which is, being realistic.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of overplanning & underachieving. I’ve been there. Make sure you’re honest with yourself and know your limits. Know when you’re usually tired & when you don’t feel like working and would rather relax and do nothing instead. This will help you greatly when planning.
Know what to say yes to and when
I never wanted to miss out on opportunities so I always said yes. Yes to robotics competitions, yes to extra research, yes to new clients, yes to social events that I didn’t even feel like attending, I said yes to volunteer work and favours, to study hours, extra work at my job, working out, birthday parties & even lunch breaks with friends when I knew I could use this time to either catch up on work or just be by myself collecting my thoughts. I ended up saying yes to a lot more than I could handle. This resulted with a really pact schedule and not enough time to rest and restart, or often times, things would overlap & would take much more time than I had hoped for.
My advice wouldn’t be to say ‘no’ all the time, it would be to prioritise & know when to say ‘yes’.
Do your own thing
Remember, your schedule doesn’t have to look ‘perfect’ or full & productive. As long as it works for you, your own pace & time, then don’t worry about what others’ might look like.
Best of luck & may the next few months be a period of transformation & grace!