The Busy Student’s Guide to Juggling Studying, Working and Side Gigs

As a 23-year-old studying abroad doing my Master’s in Dublin, I get first-hand the challenges of juggling multiple responsibilities. Between my degree in Digital Marketing Strategy at Trinity College Dublin, my part-time job in Marketing, and my various side hustles and hobbies, finding a balance and staying productive can be tough.

But despite the challenges, I’ve learned a few tips and tools along the way that have helped me stay focused and on track. In this post, I’ll share my strategies for balancing my Master’s, work, and side hustles, as well as my top picks for productivity and focus tools.

My Tips for Balancing Multiple Responsibilities

Create a schedule and stick to it.

One of the most important things I’ve learned is the importance of having a clear schedule and sticking to it. I use a combination of calendar blocking in my phone’s calendar that is synched on all devices and Notion to keep track of my appointments, deadlines, organise projects and manage to-do’s.

Make time for self-care.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and forget to take care of ourselves, but it’s crucial to carve out self-care time to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Whether it’s exercising, meditating, or just taking a few minutes to relax, taking care of ourselves helps us stay energised and focused.

Set goals and priorities.

It can be overwhelming to juggle multiple commitments, so it’s important to set clear goals and priorities for each area of your life. This helps you stay focused and avoid getting sidetracked by less important tasks.

Take breaks and give yourself permission to rest.

It’s important to take breaks and give yourself permission to rest, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed or burnt out. Taking breaks helps you recharge and return to your work feeling refreshed and more productive.

My Favourite Productivity and Focus Tools


This app helps you stay focused by planting virtual trees that die if you leave the app. It’s a great way to stay motivated and avoid distractions like social media or email.

The Pomodoro Timer

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that involves breaking your work into 25-minute intervals, separated by short breaks. It’s a great way to stay focused and avoid burnout.

Freedom or OneSec

These apps block distracting websites and apps while you’re working, so you can stay focused on your tasks. Great tools for anyone who finds it hard to resist the Instagram scroll.


The popular meditation app is a great way to take a break and clear your mind, helping you stay focused and productive when you return to work.

So, balancing a Master’s degree, work, and side hustles can be tough, but staying focused and productive is possible with a clear schedule, self-care practices, and the right tools. By setting goals and priorities, taking breaks, and using tools like Forest, the Pomodoro Technique, Freedom, and Headspace, you can find a balance that works for you. So, these are my tips and tools for productivity and focus.

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