Hello! I am Milly, a third-year history student studying at King’s. I work part-time in retail alongside being a full-time student. In this blog post, I will attempt to give you some useful tips which will help you to manage your time at university while creating an efficient balance between your work and your studies.
1. Planning your time
Time Management is a key skill which you will find useful in all aspects of your degree. I like to organize my time and work with the help of a diary. In my diary, I maintain records of due dates for all my lectures, seminars and assignments each week, since I prefer to prioritize my university work. As a history student, I find it crucial to keep a schedule of my readings, so that I can map out how much time I need to give to my studies, and then accordingly, I add paid work into my timetable.
2. Use your time productively
Just planning your time is not enough, you need to use your planned time productively. In other words, when you set aside certain hours for a specific reading or assignment, make sure you work on it as efficiently as possible. For me, I find myself most productive when I work at the library and switch off my phone to minimize nearby distractions and avoid procrastination. This is an extremely effective way of maintaining focus so you can complete your work with full concentration; however, different ways work for different people, so I would recommend exploring what your ideal work environment looks like.
3. Take care of yourself
This may sound obvious, but it’s really important to take care of yourself and your mental and physical wellbeing. For me, I always try to get 8 hours of sleep a night, so I feel well rested for the next day. I also try to go on a daily walk so I can exercise for a bit while getting some fresh air. It can be challenging at times managing both studies and work, but if you take care of yourself and prioritize your wellbeing, everything will be much more manageable.
4. Use your holidays
I think it’s a great idea to try and use your holidays to get some additional work done, particularly during the summer break. During summer breaks, I try to increase my working hours at my part-time job, so that I do not have to work as much once the studies resume.
5. Flexible Hours
One thing that is great about being a student in London is that you have lots of paid work opportunities available to you. There are various companies, such as ‘Stint’, where you can sign up for shifts whenever you need a bit of extra money and are not contractually obliged to complete a certain number of hours. I think that finding a job with flexible hours is a good idea (if you can), as this means that in times when you have to devote more time to your studies, for example during exam season, you don’t have the added pressure of work commitments.