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Four tips on juggling your job, study and passion

Everyday life is busy. We get it. Between everything you have to do there’s barely enough time for yourself, let alone getting your life in order. Well, imagine playing semi-professional soccer, studying a uni degree, while also working full time as a personal trainer. Sounds impossible, right?

Meet Jamie De Abreu. He juggled a football career in the National Premier League, studied a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science at Deakin University, and worked full time as a personal trainer. Here are some of his tips on achieving a balance in your life and pursuing all of the things you enjoy.

Tips on maintaining the balance

Jamie quickly learnt that balancing three key aspects of his life takes careful planning, and suggests taking meticulous effort with your time management skills.

‘On a Sunday afternoon, I would take time to plan out my whole week. Firstly, I book in my client’s personal training sessions. Next, I will allow two hours a day for university work, so I either study, do assignments or watch lectures online. Finally, soccer training times are set for the season so I make sure nothing is booked in for those times,’ Jamie says.

Creating a calendar for your busy schedule is Jamie’s major tip. His personal calendar is broken down into hours, and it maps out his day from waking up at 5am, all the way through to his football training at 6pm and his downtime afterwards. This way he knows what he’s supposed to be doing every hour of the day.

Love it all, no chores

While your life might be full, do you truly love the pursuits you are fitting into your precious day? This is critical to managing the daily grind when you’re juggling multiple priorities.

‘It’s a lot of work overall.  However, I loved what I did at work, I enjoyed learning, and football has always been my passion so I never look at it as if it’s work or a chore. I really think that mindset helps keep me motivated,’ Jamie explains.

Confront and conquer

Even if you’re a master at juggling your time and priorities like Jamie, it’s important to realise that sometimes it’s ok to feel overwhelmed, as long as you can move past it and get back to that feeling of excitement that pursuing a passion brings.

‘At times it could get too much, but I think that the overwhelmed feeling is a normal emotion to have over a long trimester of study,’ Jamie says. ‘Assignments and tests all due at the same time could sometimes be overwhelming, but once I passed those hurdles, I realised I was studying to improve my ability to help others, which was enough motivation for me to keep working towards the finish line,’ he explains.

Advice on online study

Jamie wouldn’t be able to pursue uni study without the help of online study. The flexibility around your own timetable lets you decide when and where you can complete your study. However, this freedom is fraught with danger.

‘The great thing about studying online is that you can work at your own pace. This flexibility is what led me to studying online,’ Jamie claims.

‘In saying that, you really need to be on top of the work as it can get away from you, especially if you’re not physically attending lectures on campus,’ Jamie says.

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