You’re heading back to school for a reason – to get the skills you need to excel in your career and to make it easy to advance. You’ll need to strike a delicate balance between your coursework and your actual work to make the most of this busy but rewarding time. Simply opting to take classes from accredited self-paced online colleges is a huge time saver and will help you swiftly reach your goals, but these tips are designed to help you balance life, work and school and come out a winner every time.
Become a Time Management Expert
Your time management skills will be critical for success. The good news is that by opting for online classes, you already saved a significant amount of time; you won’t have to worry about driving too and from class or a campus and can use that time for study or work instead. Working schoolwork around your existing schedule requires some creativity. Start by setting aside some time each week for uninterrupted study sessions. You can also incorporate schooling into other times; if you have time to read on the bus, subway or as a passenger, opt for a school book instead of the latest best seller to keep things moving along.
Delegating tasks at work and at home can help you find more time to balance your schoolwork and life. Your work tasks will need to take center stage when you have something pressing, but if there are minor, time consuming jobs you that are preventing you from focusing, it could be time to delegate these to ensure you don’t get burned out.
At home, delegating more tasks to your kids and partner can free up time; if you have the budget, hiring a babysitter or housecleaner can also help you find more time to study and work.
If you don’t already have one, a smartphone or tablet can help you take both work and school materials along where ever you go. You can respond to a professor’s request or email while you are in the grocery store or commuting – and you can check on work projects from home, preventing you from having to make a drive. Even lectures can be played on your tablet or phone, so you can listen as you tackle household chores or drive to work each morning.
Review the Syllabus and Block Schedule Tasks
You’ll get a full syllabus for each course you take. Review it right away and add important dates and study sessions to your calendar. When you know you have a big project coming up, you can avoid overscheduling and ensure you block out time for it first. You’ll be able to see both your work and school schedule at a glance and know right away if you can handle “one more task” or not.
When you are going to school and working, you’re going to have to say no to some things, even fun social ones. Whether someone wants to you bake cookies, lead a team at church or your kids school or contribute time in some other fashion, you may need to turn them down this time because of your packed schedule.
The rewards of getting your degree and the flexibility of accredited self paced online colleges make it worth learning to balance your work and school life during this busy time.