How To Find The Perfect Balance Between Your Internship and Schoolwork
Getting an internship is a fantastic way of gaining real-world experience and college credit. However, it also means that you will have to juggle your internship and schoolwork, which can feel overwhelming. If you are wondering how you can excel at your internship AND your classes simultaneously, we've got you covered. Below, we have listed ten tips to help you find the perfect balance between your internship and your classes.
1. Create A Scheduling System (And Stick To It)
Having an organization system like a planner or a calendar will most definitely help you reach a healthy balance between your internship and your classes, but it can help with so much more. Below are a couple of ways in which having a planner can improve your day to day life:
- Increased productivity
Productivity is vital if you want to succeed in college, especially if you have an internship. Having a planner can significantly help you be more productive because having a reminder of the work you have left to do will prevent you from procrastinating or caving into distractions. Sticking to your planner will help you stay on track with each task you need to complete, and it will encourage you to move on to the next one smoothly.
- You will be more efficient
Planners are great for developing your time management skills, which will help you become more efficient! Planners are designed specifically to help you find a more effective and efficient way to organize your time. It is pretty simple; with a planner, you have an exact list of the things you need to do in front of you, instead of looking for the post-it note you wrote the day before or browsing through your emails to find what you need to do that day.
- You will experience less stress
Not only will good time management improve your productivity and efficiency, but it can also help you experience less stress! Knowing how your day will go and having a plan for what you will accomplish helps you feel less overwhelmed. It also helps prepare you for the day before it begins.
- You will feel a sense of accomplishment
There is something gratifying about checking a task off on your daily planner. It reminds you that your hard work is paying off and that you are progressing!
- It helps you break down big projects into smaller tasks
Taking on a big project is always a little bit overwhelming, even more so if you have other projects that you need to complete. Having a planner will allow you to take a big project and break it down into smaller tasks. Doing this will make the project much more manageable and less intimidating.
- It can help you find more free time
Another benefit of using a planner is having more free time to work on your hobbies, spend time with your friends, or just relax! Because you are using time more efficiently and wasting less time on distractions, you can put all of the time you save into your free time.
- It can help you improve your health
Learning how to manage your time will also help you create a routine that is sustainable and holistic. Planners are not restricted to scheduling work/school-related tasks; you can also use them to establish a routine that helps you become your best, healthiest self! When planning your day, reserve time slots for your workouts, cooking, meditating, or whatever habits you would like to cultivate.
2. Avoid Multitasking
According to the Harvard Business Review, multitasking leads to as much as a 40% drop in productivity! That is because attempting to multitask takes up a lot more mental energy and time than focusing on one task at a time.
3. Prioritize Your Tasks
One of the most important things you can do to find the perfect balance between your internship and your schoolwork is to prioritize your tasks. Rank your tasks in order of significance to balance your upcoming obligations, and complete them in that order. Whether you have to work on a draft for your research paper or develop a social media plan for your internship, you should make it a habit to prioritize the tasks right from the beginning of the week. This system will help you finish essential tasks and plan accordingly based on your availability and their difficulty.
4. Set Realistic Goals
Don't expect to finish a thousand-word essay in an hour! If you want to excel in both your internship and college, you need to set realistic goals for yourself. We recommend using the SMART criteria to assess whether your goal is achievable or not. SMART goals are:
- Specific: Your goal should be clear and precise. Otherwise, you won't be able to focus your efforts or feel truly motivated to achieve them.
- Measurable: Your goal should be measurable so that you can track your progress and stay motivated.
- Achievable: Your goal should be realistic and attainable. It is good to challenge yourself, but only to the extent of your capacities!
- Relevant: When setting goals for yourself, consider whether or not they are relevant. Each of your goals should align with your values and long-term goals. If a goal doesn't contribute toward your broader objectives, you might rethink it. Ask yourself why the goal is essential to you, how achieving it will help you and contribute to your long-term goals.
- Time-bound: Every goal needs a target date so that you have a deadline to focus on and something to work toward.
5. Be Aware Of Your Limits
Don't bite off more than you can chew. This will not only leave you feeling bad about yourself, but if you commit to doing something and you are unable to deliver, it can harm your employer's perception of you!
6. Don't Forget To Communicate
If you have exams coming up or a research paper to finish, let your internship provider know your difficulties so that you can take some break from work. Communication is vital in every area of your life - university and work included. Your lecturers and managers are there to support, teach, and delegate, so make them aware of the balancing act you've taken on. Workloads can build up regardless of where you are in your career, so don't wait until you feel overwhelmed to bring it up.
7. Consider A Virtual Internship/Classes
While you may not be able to take all your classes or do all of your intern work online, working from home one or two days a week can save you a lot of valuable time. This is especially true if you live far away from your school or office, that commute time could be used for work instead! Consider asking your internship coordinator to do some work from home.
8. Avoid Distractions
Having an internship on top of college requires a lot of time, so you will want to make the most out of every minute. This means that you should be avoiding distractions that take up a lot of your time during work hours- such as scrolling through social media, bingeing a TV show, or watching videos on Youtube- while it may seem like a couple of minutes won't harm you, they can pile up. In addition, if you avoid distractions, you will have more time to do all of those things but without the stress of not having finished your tasks yet!
9. Take Care Of Yourself
If you want to deliver quality work, you need to be in a good place health-wise! Juggling an internship and college will make for a busy schedule, but don't let this be a reason to neglect your health. Many students will pull an all-nighter writing an essay or finishing a project during their time in college, but this should not be a frequent occurrence. Sleep loss results in a loss of focus, attention, and vigilance. So, if you want to do great work, you'll need to catch some z's!
10. Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
There might come a time where you feel overwhelmed by all of your responsibilities, but remember that you are doing this for a reason! Your hard work will pay off. Not only will you become more confident in your skills and make your resume more impressive, but you will show your future employers that you are a hard-working and valuable person to add to their team.
Whether you were thinking of finding an internship or already have one, we hope this blog helped you find ways to make your experience more enjoyable and manageable. Best of luck!
For more tips and advice on marketing and branding, check out the rest of Power Move Marketing's blogs!
Author: Julia Prieto