It’s the beginning of July! Summer is knocking on your door. Do you already have planned what you are going to spend the following months on? I do. And it’s not as much fun as expected, but hey – personal preferences!
I am spending my summer at work… or, well, two of them (besides writing this). Just like most of you, I am a student as well, someone who also juggles part-time work alongside. Those of you who are familiar with what this feels like, you already know it isn’t easy, but we all find our ways.
Although I say it is manageable, some people might just not find it suitable – and that’s ok.
Yes, you will gain working experience early on. You definitely will earn a nice make-up for your CV and you surely will have some more cash which is always welcome. However, think twice whether you are able to handle the workload and often give up some things for your aim.
I have been managing my schedules for a year already very successfully, and therefore decided to share some of the tips that have been helping me in this journey.
First and foremost:
I know, you’ve heard this a thousand times and we can all get lazy and think that planning is boring and, yeah, whatever. But believe me, even doing as much as writing the obligations for the day ahead can help you out, let alone for the week or month. I used to make a huge calendar for the month ahead and put it on the wall so that I can add tasks, classes, exams, shifts constantly.
However, I figured out that the only time I spent in front of that wall at home is morning and evening – not very efficient. This is why I started trying out different mobile apps that I updated with my to-do’s and a great plus in comparison with the wall calendar here is – you actually get a reminder. Some of the apps I can suggest are Sectograph or Boosted.
What I do is that on weekends, I sit down and make a schedule for the upcoming week that includes things I know for sure I will do. This leaves space for adding tasks, meetings, events as they arrive, in case you get frightened by having to live too predictable life 🙂
This, of course, depends on what type of person you are. If you prefer writing things down – get a planner, but then don’t forget to actually update it and carry it with yourself.
Another reason why I love doing this is that it helps you set priorities. Will you skip that class on Thursday because there’s a good party on Wednesday, or… well, you get it.
2. Be open to challenges
Answering to a “what kind of a job do you want to do?” question in your 20s is probably not the easiest thing to do. But to be honest this is why part-time jobs are great. They give you an opportunity to try yourself in different fields of industry, they are usually super flexible, and they can be great for networking.
We all have to start somewhere, right?
No need to beat yourself up over the fact that your student job is not your dream one. As long as you have the will, energy and time for it, it is always good to be up for embracing new experiences. It’s okay if your student job turns out to be within the field of industry you never imagined yourself in. Two reasons why this is great: CV and skills. You won’t have a blank page under “Work experience” anymore, and your future employers will see be able to conclude your skills from it. If you thought you were just being a waiter, barista, babysitter or a street vendor – think again. These jobs scream teamwork and communication skills, but the best part is that you’ll represent the embodiment of “time management”.
Be patient. It’s your first job, not your last one.
3. Sleep, please
I believe this is very much self-explanatory.
Binge watching your favorite show after a long day sure sounds like a nice treat. But, when you have to get up at 6 am the next morning and be ready for a tight schedule, your productivity might as well hit rock bottom. Sleeplessness can affect your mind and body in numerous negative ways. Nobody wants to pass out while on the bus ride to their work after 3h long lectures at university.
4. Make sure you get that “me-time”
Now, this is the part where you actually get to be encouraged for binge watching. Choose your treats. Plan your week, keep up the good work, do your best, but take that one day for rewarding yourself. If you’re one of those super ambitious people, then at least a few hours a day, on weekends.
Go out, have a drink, take a walk, skate, bike, get yourself an ice-cream, sit on a bench with a nice view. Whatever it is, make sure you dedicate some time for taking your mind off of everything. Relax.
5. Be realistic, for real
You’d be driving and driving for hours, days even, striving towards the goal destination, with music blasting and without taking your eyes off the road. Somewhere in the second third of the road, your car just dies. Sucks, right? But then you realize that you had a signal lamp on all the time, you just didn’t notice it at all. Who is here to blame?
This is exactly what you should not allow yourself to happen when it comes to your mind and body. You need to be realistic. There is only 24h in one day, and if you’re following the advice number 3, that leaves you with approximately 16h. You need time to get ready, eat, commute. Add everything up and see what you’re left with. Decide whether you’re a student part-time worker or a working student.
There is no need to overwork yourself when the math is pretty simple.
Head of Operations at Times International