Studying while working full-time?

Studying while working full-time?

Hi everyone!

I’m looking for some suggestions about studying while working full-time. Not sure if it’s important or not, but I am wanting to study for certs that would help me get a much better job and that would just benefit me greatly.

I leave my house at 7 am, and I usually don’t get home until at least 5:40 pm. By the time I get home, after dealing with a long work day and an awful commute, all I wanna do is lay in bed. But at the same time, I want to study. I feel like I’ve gotten stuck in this vicious circle, and it’s been so hard to get out of it. I assume some mental illnesses of mine play a part in that as well.

I know some people can juggle a full-time job, a family, and studying, and I definitely commend them for that. If anyone has any experience or advice, I’d really love to hear it. Thank you so much in advance!


  1. I am currently working 40+ hours a week plus I am getting my MBA. I go to class twice a week from 6:15-9 PM every Tuesday/ Thursday. The best advice I can give is work on your time management. When you get home, leave work at the door. When your home focus a few hours on studying, if you can. You wouldn’t believe the amount of studying you can get done if focus for 2-3 hours at a time. By 8 PM you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished so much.

  2. I’m studying while working full-time for an undergraduate course. My day offs are on Monday and Tuesday. Work starts at 1 p.m. and ends at 10 p.m. My classes are Mondays to Fridays, all in the mornings.

    I’m taking all the major courses in my curriculum, and they all require reading (Law or Consultancy courses) and problem-solving, as well as theories.

    If you’re used to work, it’ll be less of a problem. If you’re new to work, that’s the issue. You’ll essentially be serving two masters at once, and the quality of one will drop to compensate the other. Make sure you’re used to work, leave on time to get to school (strictly no overtime if you can handle it), and go to school.

    ALWAYS show up for school and work. Only be absent for one when it’s a desperate measure (e.g. late announcement of exams, or deadlines at work), but also only when you’re sure the other doesn’t need much attention (e.g. nothing much to do at work, or professor will most likely not show up). Showing up is the first step to being on top!

    Work on your time management. I cannot stress this enough. You’re going to have less time for your friends, your coworkers, or your friends from school. It doesn’t mean you don’t have to maintain good relationships with them. Just be you with them around, but you’ll have to tell them ‘no’ sometimes (if not most of the time) to night outs or outings.

    Treat time like a resource. There’s time management because you know there’s only so much you can do in 24 hours that you’ll have to allocate for your basic needs (sleep, eat, and anything to maintain good hygiene), work, and school. So if it isn’t busy at work and you can do things non-work-related, then go read anything for school. It’s best to be on top of the material. Dedicate a part of your time a day for studying (even just reviewing the lessons for 10-20 minutes), and you won’t have to cram or do as much studying when the exams come.

    If you have some more to ask, hit me up! You might have questions now that you haven’t really thought yet when you made the post. I can probably help at some practical things about time management. I was the type to cram things a day before the exam, but my work ethics took me to a different level in terms of responsibility and time management when I returned to school.

  3. I’m in the same position as you, OP. I’m in grad school, and I have an incredibly hard time studying after I get home from work. I’ll tell you what has worked for me — maybe it will help.

    I get home and let myself take about an hour break and fit my dinner meal in there somewhere. I don’t let myself lay in bed or on the couch at all because I will just be tired the rest of the night. After my break and dinner, I make myself some decaf coffee. I know it’s decaf, but regular coffee will affect my sleep. The decaf coffee kinda mentally helps wake me up.

    You just have to force yourself to focus for about half an hour, and usually I am able to keep going at that point. The first 30 minutes are awful, though. Sometimes I have a really hard time, so I will play some music to help get me started.

    What has helped me the most is this: I have an app called “Done,” which allows me to keep track of my goals for each day and log whether I’ve completed them. I tell myself to study 3 hours each weekday (8 hours on Saturdays and Sundays), and if I’ve completed it, I put a green circle for the day on the app’s calendar. If not, I put an X. If I get green circles for every day of the week, I allow myself to take the whole day Friday off from studying. You have to reward yourself; otherwise, you will not trust yourself the next time you try to sit down and study — and thus, you will just end up procrastinating. I actually learned about this method from Reddit (link).

    Some people use the Pomodoro Technique, but I found it too difficult to get myself to focus again after each time the timer went off. It’s easier for me to just binge the 3 hours and be done.

    Sorry for the long post — hope it helps.

  4. I work full time as go to school online part time. I also struggle with ADHD and bipolar disorder, so hopefully my tips will help too. First, time block your schedule. Every hour of the day. Even down to 15 min increments if that’s what you want. But managing your time is extremely important. It’ll give you a good idea on how to use your time appropriately. Second, always give yourself down time. Always always always. After a long stressful day at work, I give myself a couple hours. I have to. The mental stress of overloading myself takes away from anything I study, so I do my best to avoid it. Finally, remember why you are doing it. Post reminders everywhere in you’re work space. I’m unable to attend physical classes at a school because of my conditions, but it might help to look at online certifications from accredited schools. I’m studying for an associate’s degree right now through this route. Best of luck!

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