As a student, it can be difficult to manage your time, especially if you have a job and when you have friends that constantly want to go down the pub.
My name is Dom and I’m currently studying towards a Masters Degree in Computer Science, specialising in Business Computing. In this article, I will explain how I manage my life as a full-time university student with two part-time jobs.
Keep a Calendar
My first advice is to manage a weekly calendar and to keep to it! I can’t stress this enough! I use Google Calendar because it’s well built and has many useful features the other calendars don’t have or are limited. I plan out my entire calendar a week in advance and I put all my tasks into it, including rest time, the times I wake up and go to sleep and all my study time as well as my work time. The image below is an actual screenshot of my calendar
You’re probably thinking, why don’t I have so many lecturers, well the honest answer is that most of my lectures have finished now, but I was able to keep to a similar schedule even when I have lectures all week. In terms of working whilst at Uni, the trick is to find a student-friendly job, that allows you to be flexible around your studies. Yes, money is important, but your studies are far more important, especially when you’re spending over £9,000 a year! During my current studies, I work in two part-time jobs, I work as an IT Technician and I work in a supermarket, both of these jobs are student-friendly and allow me to concentrate on coursework.
Keep a To-Do list
A To-Do list is just as important as your calendar, in fact, creating a ToDo list helps me plan out my calendar. There are many wonderful apps out there, but I like to use an online app called Kanban flow. I follow the technique explained by John Sonmez from the Bulldog Mindset. a video explaining how to utilise the app can be found below…
Planning out my week in this way has drastically helped me organise the final year of my undergrad degree and is still helping me today in organising my life around work and studying towards my master’s degree.
How I keep motivated
You’re probably wondering, how I stay motivated with such a busy lifestyle. The truth is that it can be hard and tiring sometimes, especially after a busy day at work. My advice is to invest in a good quality set of headphones, it would be even better if they have active noise cancelling as you can block out the noise around you. Set a Pomodoro timer using Kanban flow and just work.
I mainly use the Sony WH-H900N h.ear over-ear headphones, they offer great sound quality and decent active noise cancelling. I also use my AirPods Pro depending on the circumstances. However, these aren’t budget-friendly headphones, they’re actually quite expensive, especially for a student. Therefore, I recommend the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 which are a decent pair of headphones at a very decent price.
Why do I choose to live such a busy lifestyle?
I choose to live my life to the full, I strongly believe that any experience is vital whilst you’re developing your career portfolio, even that part-time job how have can provide vital experience. The biggest blessing I had during my first and second year at Uni was working as a part-time sales adviser at Currys PC World. I remember coming into the job as this shy boy with little to no experience in customer care, I left Currys as a confident man. The job provided me with industry experience, excellent customer service skills and most importantly of all, I stopped being shy!
The other reason that I live such a busy lifestyle is so that I can save for the future. I tend to try to live a minimalist lifestyle and concentrate on the important parts of life. Not every single week is as busy as the screenshot of my calendar shows, that was actually one of the busier weeks.
A Day in The Life of a Computer Science Student
I recently posted a video to my YouTube channel showing what my day looks like as a student. I have covered some aspects of how I manage my work. The video can be found below.
Final Tips and Suggestions
- Make sure you get enough sleep, as working whilst overtired can affect your work
- Feeling overwhelmed? Try Meditating! I use Headspace and it helps to get me in the mood for studying when I feel unmotivated.
- Watch Study with me videos on YouTube whilst studying!
Recommended Software and Apps
So, that’s about it for this article, if you have any questions or tips and suggestions, fire them in the comments!