Are you worried about how you’ll fit school into your busy schedule and if you’ll have time to attend class, go to work and see your friends? You can do it with tips that help you balance all of your school, work and life responsibilities.
Manage your Time
You need to use a calendar. Otherwise, you might forget important assignments or family events. On your computer, in your phone or via a paper day planner, pen in all your school lectures, assignments and exams as well as your work schedule, family commitments and time with friends. Just remember to check your calendar every day as you prioritize school, manage your time and find school/life balance.
Set up a Home Classroom
Prioritizing school is easier when you set up a home classroom. Commandeer the basement, spare bedroom, attic or a corner of your bedroom, and equip your classroom with:
- Computer and printer
- Headset and speakers
- Notebook and pen
- Printer paper and ink
- Comfortable chair
- Adequate lighting
Of course, you can participate in online classes and complete assignments from any Wi-Fi hotspot, but avoid noisy coffee shops or local parks if they prevent you from concentrating. The public library offers a quieter setting if you need to study away from home.
Handle Schedule Conflicts Logically
Even with the flexibility of online classes, you will face occasional scheduling conflicts that threaten your work/life balance. Your family wants to watch a movie with you as you sit down to study. Your home’s Internet connection goes out on the day your paper is due. Your boss asks you to work overtime the night you have a lecture. You can’t be in two places at once, but you can handle these conflicts logically.
First, involve your family. Ask them to quiz you on the exam material or to consult your calendar and schedule fun activities for your free nights.
Next, have a backup plan. Talk to a friend or relative at the beginning of the semester and make arrangements to use their Internet if your power goes out.
Finally, hold proactive conversations with your boss before school starts. Tell him or her that school comes first and ask them to be flexible. Your boss may allow you to leave work early on school nights or work overtime on the weekends.
Admit your Limitations
Everyone wants to be successful at everything, but you have limited time, energy and resources. School only lasts for a defined period, and you’ll be happy that you invested in your education even as you accept your limitations, admit that you can’t do everything.
You may want to say no to extra commitments (like hosting your friend’s birthday party or attending a work conference) that eat up valuable school time. Remember that while school is an important part of your life, it’s up to you to prioritize and focus on what is important.
Ask for Help
Your parents, friends, roommate, spouse, professors, librarians and tutors stand ready to help you succeed, but they can’t read your mind. Whether you need extra help understanding a concept, a ride to the library or a night away from the books, ask for help and make your needs known as you reach for your educational goals.
Are you ready to tackle school now that you have tips to balance your life? Start your search using the tools on the right, and find out more about how you can achieve your educational goals while balancing online school, work and life.