If you work and go to school, time management can be an issue. However, if you're a gig worker while trying to learn something, this can be a different kind of battle. Although battle may be a strong word, it's not easy to realize that money can be funny as a contractor. But getting an in-demand job while going to school can ease some of the pressure.
Why? Companies go out of business (sometimes with zero notice), a merger can force out new hires or those without a strong history, and there's personal burnout. Although these things can happen when working for a large company, having a severance package (or at least the ability to collect unemployment) can make the difference.
In the meantime, assessing skills can be the greatest timesaver. Why? Instead of wasting time (and losing money) listening to music or answering surveys for pennies an hour. Anyone who knows how to type a little may be able to land a job as a transcriptionist. Some companies even offer paid training.
There are many nice-paying gigs that also allow anyone to create their own schedule. Genpact (formerly known as OnSource) is great for shutterbugs who can travel to various business and residential locations. Mystery shopping is great for those who know their way around a store or want to hone their acting skills (the latter may want to consider getting a gold membership).
Many of these gigs just ask applicants to have an active PayPal account to get started, along with the usual documents needed to work. There are also numerous websites on this page (see right panel) that have leads on jobs that pay weekly, allow background noise, or have full-time opportunities.