Are you working an online job and taking online classes at the same time? Do you need help managing your time and resources well? Here are some essential tips on how to manage your online work and school at the same time.

COVID-19 has forced many industries to shift to work-from-home set-ups and schools to replace face-to-face classes with online learning. For people who have to work and study online at the same time, this kind of set-up may be more challenging than the “normal” they were used to before the outbreak.

While working and studying online does offer unique benefits (no commute, more time for family, lower daily expenses, etc.), there is no denying that being confined at home and in front of a computer for most of the day can be detrimental to one’s physical, mental, and emotional health.

Here are some essential tips on how working students can take care of themselves and improve their performance while working and studying online at the same time:

1. Spend your free time off-screen

You’re already spending more than half of your day in front of a screen, either working or attending virtual classes. You definitely do not need to add to your screen time when you finally get off work or school.

During your free time, avoid watching TV, using your phone, or staring at basically anything with a screen in order to let your eyes rest. Too much screen time can lead to eye strain, headaches, blurred vision, and watery or dry eyes.

2. Set your priorities

Whether you are taking the TVL track in senior high school or working through your college degree, put your education at the very top of your priority list. Yes, that means putting it above your job, but that doesn’t mean you should have to neglect the latter.

By setting priorities, you will know how to better distribute your time between your responsibilities. And with multiple roles on your plate, time management is incredibly important to ensure that you don’t neglect any of your obligations, both as a student and a worker.

3. Choose the right employer

Find an employer that respects the fact that you are still studying and is willing to make accommodations for you. Such an employer may be more willing to give you a schedule that works best for your classes, as well as avoid giving you a heavy workload when exam seasons are coming up. It may seem impossible to find an employer like this, but you’d be surprised at how many there are who are very accommodating to working students, especially in the world of online jobs.

4. Have your own workspace

Minimizing distractions at home is the key to staying focused and productive while working or studying. The best way to do this is to have your own workspace, be it an entire home office or a corner in your bedroom. This will help you concentrate on your tasks more easily, which, in turn, can help you boost your productivity and get more things done.

5. Avoid studying while working, or vice versa

It can be tempting to squeeze in some study time while working or vice versa, but you may be risking both by dividing your attention between them when you shouldn’t. Moreover, jumping from one thing to another (with both things requiring a lot of focus) can be pretty stressful; and stress is the last thing you need while working or studying from home.

Instead, stick to your schedule. If you want to know how to manage online work and school at the same time, make sure you work when it’s time for work and study when it’s time for study. This way, you can give your utmost attention to what you’re doing, as well as avoid getting stressed out by trying to juggle multiple things at once.

6. Don’t bite off more than you can chew

Overcommitting yourself, whether at work or in school, is only going to burn you out faster. Signing up for more classes or taking on more tasks at work may seem like a good idea to succeed in both areas, but working yourself to the bone is going to do more harm than good. And if you get burnt out, both your studies and your job can suffer the consequences, not to mention your overall state of health.

You know yourself best, so you know how much you can handle. Look for a job that you can realistically manage with the time you have. If you have the option to take fewer classes, consider doing so to ensure that you can give your best for each class.

Being a working student is rarely easy, especially during this time when you’re doing everything online which is why we shared on how to manage online work and school at the same time.

With these tips, however, you can help yourself handle both roles effectively without compromising one or the other, and more importantly, maintain a positive work-life-study balance.

Related: How You Can Earn a Degree While Keeping a Full-Time Job