I have been thinking about this recently, and I’ve decided that I’m not sure if it is possible to study while working. It’s probably a good idea, but as a student, it’s hard to know whether you can do both at the same time.
I’m not going to suggest that you can’t work while studying. You can of course try, but I’m not sure it will work in the long run.
The problem is that there is so much else you need to do. If you are going to study computer science, for example, you need a computer (or at least a laptop or net-book). And even if you are just trying to learn something like history or economics or languages, even if they are totally useless for getting a job, you need books and DVDs and sometimes classes and exams.
There are also social obligations: if your friends are working as waiters or baristas, then obviously they are going to be more interesting than you; if they don’t work at all, then they’ll be boring. Then there is the fact that work is frequently more interesting than your main subject. The main reason I am writing this entry right now is because I just started working on a new video game project with some friends of mine
One of the surprising things about the first year of college is that it’s actually possible to work while studying. Sure, it’s not ideal. It seems like you would be spending all your time working anyway, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to do. There are a number of strategies you can use to keep from getting burned out by the demands of academic study and the demands of work.
How do you do it? Here are some basic tips:
1. Get some sleep! That’s right – get some sleep even if you’re just planning on reading for a few hours before going to bed. This is especially important if you’re trying to keep up with your workload and study for your classes at the same time. When you’re tired, you’re more likely to make mistakes and make poor decisions in class (like leaving early), which will definitely affect your performance in school as well as your ability to perform at work.
2. Get enough exercise! Being active helps reduce stress and lowers blood pressure, which helps keep you awake during exams or late nights at work without causing any long-term damage to your memory or brain function. You don’t need to become an athlete or go jogging every day – just doing a few minutes of cardio is enough
Studying is a different kind of work from the usual kinds. It is not just a side effect of working, like eating while cooking or making love while having sex. Studying is part of it, but it is also something you do for your own sake. If you try to study and work at the same time, both will suffer; because if you are too busy working, your studying will suffer, too.
If you can figure out how to balance studying and working, you will have made a big advance. And the trick is not to make extra work for yourself by trying to study while doing other things.
If you work while studying, you will get something done. But if you work a lot, you might be neglecting your studies. There is a trade-off: if you learn more, you will spend less time on study; but if you spend less time on study, you might not learn as much.
The answer is to find the right balance between the two. The ideal situation is to do both things at the same time. That’s what I did for my bachelor’s degree in physics. For my master’s degree in computer science, I worked as hard as I could at both studies and work, and got excellent results out of it. It is possible to do that; it just takes discipline.
I once read a book by a famous author that made the case that it was better to work while studying than to study while working. The author argued that if you don’t have a lot of time to study, you must be able to put in long hours at your job. And if you have time to study, you have enough time to get the most out of your study time – either by working less or by doing more things on your “study” schedule.
The author used as examples people who were able to spend long hours at their jobs, like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, and then he explained how they did it. These men were able to work long hours because they were productive and efficient and because it was not necessary for them to spend long hours doing things that required thinking.
The argument seemed plausible at first, but in practice it has never worked out in my experience. First of all, the distinction between productive and unproductive work is very hard to pin down; I know several people who are much more productive than I am both at work and outside of work, while I can’t imagine myself ever being much more productive outside of work than I am inside work.
Second, I don’t think a person should intentionally push themselves into exhaustion when they
The most common way for someone to evaluate his or her own contribution is by measuring how much of the work he or she does. If you do 20% of the work, you might think that you’re doing 80%, but actually you’re only doing 60%.
If you spend half your time studying and half your time working, then 100% of your work is being done. But that doesn’t tell you what your contribution is. It’s a measure of your productivity, not a measure of how valuable you are.
You can see this by thinking about what it means to do work: it means making progress toward something that has value. You don’t have to make progress if the thing doesn’t have value; if the thing has no value, then the task itself is worthless.
How much time should I spend studying? You probably think that’s obvious. But if you want to be an expert in the field, your answer may be “as little as possible.”
It sounds perverse, but the experts need to spend a lot of time studying, because they are often wrong. They just don’t know any better.
If you have been thinking about becoming an expert in astronomy, you probably have not given much thought to whether you will actually succeed. Perhaps you have assumed that all you need is a good education and then you will become an expert in astronomy. But it can take years of hard work before the expertise is there.