4 Ideas to Help You Balance Multiple Jobs

By Brittany Hawes on March 3, 2018

I know what you’re thinking: balance multiple jobs? That’s crazy talk. College is stressful enough as it is—adding multiple jobs is the straw that will break the camel’s back. But, as you well may know, that choice isn’t always left in our hands. You might be at a point in your life where you need more than one income source to make ends meet. That student loan isn’t going to repay itself. That pesky rent tends to show up every first of the month, rather we want it to or not. Groceries need to be bought, along with toilet paper, dish soap, paper towels, and other household necessities. Then, you might have a car—that means there’s gas to buy. Then there is the utility bill, extracurricular group fees, maybe you want to buy a new car or gaming system… the list goes on. Sometimes, one job isn’t going to cut it, especially if you’re relying primarily on your own income for all of these things.

Balancing more than one job on top of your college courses is possible. If you’re already a well-organized person who embraces change, the transition from no job or one job to balancing multiple jobs will be easier for you. If you’re not this kind of person, you’ll still be able to tackle the task of holding more than one job – you will just have to work on those organizational skills and time management.

How does one balance multiple jobs? Here are 4 steps to help you get started on your journey to becoming a multiple job master.

balance multiple jobs

Image via Pixabay.com

1. Work on your organizational skills

You’ll need to work on your organizational and time management skills. To balance multiple jobs, you’re going to have to be a well-organized, time-oriented person who can juggle many things at once. If you’re not this kind of person, that’s okay! You can easily become one.

First things first, you’re going to have to bring order to your life. Start planning out your day ahead of time instead of rushing through it and hurrying to get things done at a moment’s notice. Prepare in advance. Wash and iron your work clothes the night before and have them hung up and ready to change into when you get back home from classes, or bring them with you on campus and change there, if necessary. If you wear makeup to work, do your makeup at the beginning of the day so you’ll only have to touch it up a bit before you have to head to work later in the day.

Don’t procrastinate! Although it’s easy to let yourself get distracted (say by Netflix or social media), fight the urge to waste those precious hours of your time on YouTube. Instead, get important things done first and set distractions (cell phones, laptops, the TV remote) aside for now. If you know you have loads of homework to turn in soon, knock that out of the way so you’re not rushing to finish it right before class. Rushing always results in you not giving something the attention it deserves.

2. Make yourself a schedule

Schedules can save you both time and headaches. Writing down the times that you have class will give you something physical to look at when you’re trying to plan your work hours around your class schedule. This is better than trying to sort out a schedule in your mind alone. With classes and more than one job, it’s easier for things to get hectic and to accidentally let things overlap. Having everything written down will help you do better planning. Planners might seem outdated when we now have cell phones that have all sorts of apps on them, but sometimes a paper or whiteboard planner used in conjunction with a digital planner can serve better than just one used alone.

When you’re making your schedule, it’s important to focus on these three things: travel time, homework time, and free time. Travel time is how much time it’s going to take to get from where you are at a certain time to one of your jobs. When you’re working out your schedule with your employer, don’t tell them work hours that will make you have to rush just to get to your workplace on time. This will just add to your stress. Schedule yourself an ample amount of time to get from Point A to Point B. Don’t forget to account for traffic.

The second thing you should schedule is homework time. Don’t try to squeeze it in whenever you can because that leads to rushing and not giving your best on your assignments. Instead, schedule time every week to get your homework done.

Lastly, you should remember to give yourself free time. It’s helpful to give yourself some stress—free time to do whatever you want, be it going for a jog, writing, reading, meeting up with friends, or going to see a movie. Work isn’t your whole life; making time for yourself is necessary to keep you happy.

3. Don’t pick more than one high-energy job

High-energy jobs are jobs that have a hectic atmosphere and can be highly stressful. For an example, being a waiter or waitress at a very popular restaurant or working in retail can both be stressful jobs. If possible, try to look for a job that isn’t that hectic and is laid-back, less repetitive, and more fun. Some examples of low-energy job environments are:

  • Library
  • Pet Store
  • Office
  • Private home
  • Pool
  • Massage therapy office
  • Computer lab
  • Some campus locations

Picking one of these job environments can help to cut back on stress and maybe even help you have fun at work. Am I pushing it a little bit? Not so! Having fun at work is indeed a possibility!

4. Focus on your goal and don’t give up

Last but not least, never forget your goals. As you’re working your jobs, there are going to be days when you get tired and want to quit. Hold on and remember why you need to balance multiple jobs in the first place. Your goal is right in front of you—don’t give up!

I hope that this article will help many of you achieve your goal to balance multiple jobs. Don’t be discouraged if it feels stressful at first because, after a while, it will get easier. Happy job-hunting!

Hi there! My name's Britt and I'm a senior majoring in English major at Florida State University. I have these crazy, big dreams of traveling the entire world and writing novels in my spare time. I love music, food, and the Japanese culture. I plan on teaching English in Japan upon graduation from Florida State. My first YA novel, Twisted, was published by Deep Sea Publishing Company in 2014. It won a Readers' Favorite Book Award that same year. Alongside schoolwork, I'm working hard on the second book in the Twisted series as well as a number of other novels.

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