Don’t Juggle School and Work – Strategize

The mindset of juggling is one of reaction and stress.

It is reasonable to think that we have to juggle between full-time employment and education necessary for career advancement. It is common to juggle between homework and a part job to pay for your education.

However, what seems to be reasonable and common may not be effective.

Like most things in life, your mindset determines your actions, your reactions, your stress level, and your success.

While juggling is a short-term tactic, a strategy involves a long-term plan.

The subjects below are part of both a short-term tactic and a long-term strategy. 

Imagine The Future

Your future is a point in which your school work and your employment merge and blur the path you have taken to reach it.  The qualities and skills you have developed as a result of education and employment determine the quality of your life in the future. 

Planning Skills

Take planning skills and an example of what determines the quality of your life now and in the future.

A person without a plan reacts. A person with a plan acts.

Do you write down your next day’s plan? If you don’t, you will rush, you will forget, and you will stress out.

Planning allows you to know exactly what to do and when. You have prioritized your activities to fit within your day.

You may hurry, but you never rush. You get things done.

Time Management

Time management is vital to academic and career success. Time management is an essential skill that will help you focus on what matters most. The following is a list that helps you get started.

  • Plan and schedule
  • Use to-do list
  • Set priorities
  • Start large and go small
  • Use SMARTER goal setting and deadlines
  • Control and direct a perfectionist attitude
  • Be honest about the time


As part of time management, you need to know how long an action takes and how long you are spending on each activity. Learn to pay attention to how long each event takes. Learn to accurately time events. Carrying 20 units of school credits while working full time does not fit within the standard time-space rules of physics.

Beginning with the total time available within your week, you can determine what is needed for each activity. There are activities you must do, and there are activities you think you must do.

Work on your discrimination skills and find out how much time the activities you must do take. When conflict arises, don’t say, Well, I’ll figure it out. Learn to let go of activities with the lesser priority and use the time toward the activities with higher priorities.

Stopp Juggling, Start Prioritising. 

Finding a balance between jobs is vital for effective performance. 

The categories below represent the largest demands on your time. Move what is important to you to the top of the list with the highest priority and then observe your action to see if they match your elected priorities.


The academic category involves everything related to college and nothing more.  Health, relaxation time, sports, relationships, Friday night parties, and exercise are not part of this category. You do need them but they are under different categories with their own priorities.


I could never study when I had a fight with my girlfriend.  I needed to understand how to make my relationship with her and my other friends work so that  I can study. Intense academic focus may damage personal connections, diminishing support. Prioritizing relationships over academics or work can also negatively impact performance, causing stress for both parties. She was not demanding, I just had to learn to dedicate quality time with her. 


I envied those who chose their employment to improve after graduation creditinals.   I worked at a lab to pay for my school. The lab work was simple except when it came to animal experimentation. I could relax and follow monotonous work. 

Graduate School Demands

Success in graduate or medical school requires more than good grades. Here the priorities have to shift for a time. Research, clinical work, internships, conferences, working on departmental and university committees, writing papers for publication, and joining professional organizations are all ways to learn throughout graduate school.

Understanding and Managing Stress

The correct definition of stress involves the separation of positive stress called eustress and negative stress called distress. Eustress keeps us focused and accountable. So you study harder and do your schoolwork in time. Distress overload happens when pressures are too intense or too long without a positive outcome or the possibility of a positive outcome.

Distress Overload Signs

  • Panic attacks
  • Constant strain, trouble, and rushing
  • Irritability and gloom
  • Symptoms include stomach upset, headaches, or even chest pain
  • Skin allergies like eczema or asthma
  • Insomnia
  • Drunkenness, smoking, overeating, or drug use
  • Dejection or gloom

Stress Relievers


Convert distress to eustress through exercise. Distress has no positive outcome, and eustress does. Exercise helps you direct the negative energy stressors place on you.
Relax with meditation, massage, and breathing exercises.

Adequate Nutrients

Vitamin D is a good example of what can help improve mood and focus.  Go out for a walk on sunny days. Exposure to the sun and exercise can do wonders. 


Everyone has a sense of humor. Use it and enjoy it. Just be careful not to hurt others with it. 

Use positive self-talk

Self-talk is what you think, feel and say about yourself. Use a positive tone in your thoughts and words. I had to train people to do this. Positive self-talk is like a muscle getting stronger by exercising it. Just remember that there is a limit to it before you enter the world of arrogance. 

Express Gratitude

Expressing gratitude can impact your hormonal profile in a positive way. It is a skill like many others. You can develop your skill for expressing gratitude by listing your talents, positive attributes, and life gifts.

Get Help

When overwhelmed, you may feel alone. Ask for help when you need it. There is always some who is willing to give you a helping hand if you ask. 

Control and Direct Your Perfectionism

A plastic surgeon must achieve perfection. Her clients go to her for perfection and when she is done, there is no other professional coming after her to complete. A rough-frame building contractor does not have to do a perfect job.  There are several other professionals who come after who can fix small stuff that may not be perfect.

Uncontrolled and misapplied perfectionist attitudes hinder achievement and may lead to:

  • Insecurities
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Guilt
  • Apathy
  • Procrastination
  • OCD symptoms
  • Eating disorder
  • Relationship Problems

Increase The Priority of Your Health

One of the most challenging parts of my career has been taking care of caregivers. They care for others all the time and yet they neglect themselves. I had to repeatedly remind them, persuade them and cajole them that without them none of their family members, friends, and clients would receive the care from them.

Without you being healthy, nothing can be done. Without you, there are no relationships, no work, no school, and no graduation. The list below helps you with taking care of yourself.

  • Regular exercise and rest
  • Eat nutrient-dense foods
  • Allow yourself time
  • Enjoy time with loved ones