Tip 3: Schedule in advance for work, studies and surprising events
Chatting with my student employee colleagues, one thing that came up from everyone is time management. “I think that for student employees, good time management and organizing skills are essential,” says My, our Global Partnerships Coordinator and a master’s student at Aalto BIZ, majoring in Management and International Business. “I’d suggest always trying to schedule a week or even two weeks ahead to make sure that you reserve the right amount of time for working and studying — keeping in mind those intensive final-exam weeks. And stick to that schedule as much as you can, no working in ‘study slots’ and vice versa.” I too have found that scheduling like this helps in looking out for a healthy work-study balance. If I don’t mark my study times into my calendar in advance, I will always end up having work meetings here and there, breaking up my potential slots for studying.
“When scheduling your week, my tip for others — and for myself too — is to factor in enough slack for things that come up during the week. Otherwise, even small changes at work or studies make the whole schedule wire up too tight,” Juho adds to the topic.
When scheduling your week, factor in enough slack for things that come up during the week.
Tip 4: Don’t try to remember everything on your own
For me, the more stressed I get, the more forgetful I get — and knowing this, the more stressed I get worrying I have forgotten something. The vicious circle is ready. That is why especially during busier times I make sure to write everything down. At AVP, many of us use a program called Todoist for effective to-do lists that make it easy to stay on track with both of today’s tasks and what is coming up later. Consider looking out for a tool or method that helps you remember things. It might be an app with color-coded reminders or just a good old notebook with handwritten notes.
My is a fellow fan of Todoist and writing things down. “My solution to those busier times is to spend 15 minutes every morning or the night before to note down tasks to be completed. Remember not to be too ambitious! Then tick those off at the end of the day and take a moment to be proud of yourself. I find it really important because it’s so easy to get overwhelmed thinking about the mountain piles of work and to overlook the great progress you have made every day.”
Tip 5: Hold yourself accountable
If you feel like the biggest hurdle you need to get over is getting started, we hear you. Especially during the past year time seems to move differently when just staying at home and getting the momentum going can be a challenge. For this, Amy has recently learned a new tip to share: timing yourself while working. “I consider how long I think the task needs or how long would be a reasonable time to work on it and then I set a timer. This way I have like a small deadline I’m running towards and it helps with getting things done, breaking bigger projects into manageable chunks, and just holding myself accountable.” I might just try this next week myself!
Tip 6: Always prioritize your well-being
When working and studying it can feel you’re never done with either. That’s why the most important tip we all want to give is to take care of yourself — both with small daily actions and also longer holidays every now and then. I often get caught up in the long to-do lists and think: “Just one more week, then it’ll get easier.” But we all know that it never is just one more week. That’s why our own well-being should always be the number one priority. If we lose sight of that, we can’t reach any other goals at work or studies either, no matter how well we master the previous tips.
Juho agrees and adds: “It is important to not schedule all of your free time full of activities. If your free time goes only into recovering from work and studies and you don’t have any energy left to enjoy it, life gets quite bleak.”
Our own well-being should always be the number one priority.
“Do reach out for help from your friends or co-workers whenever you need anything or to share the workload — you are not in this alone!” encourages My.
Even though it’s not always easy to combine work and study, we all really do enjoy it. It is amazing to get to apply what I learn in my marketing studies straight into the real world at work. “Yes, it has been very fruitful for me to have these two environments to play in. I get to both experiment and apply,” Amy agrees. “And, of course, you get money, which is nice!” she adds laughing.