If you are a potential student, the dilemma of starting a degree while having a family and working can seem daunting. Evaluating priorities remains an important part of successfully balancing work, life, and school.
The many responsibilities a student has often conflict. Getting the balance right between these roles in a sustainable way promotes a better, healthier way of life. Self-discipline, self-motivation, the ability to prioritise tasks, and time management are all essential ingredients. Here are some other top tips to help you balance your studies and work without compromising other commitments such as those to your family:
Have Realistic Expectations
We all know that starting a new course or degree will leave us with less time to devote to other areas of our lives. Not only do we have to consider things like study time and the amount of time we spend in class, but we also have to think about things like travel time to campus, etc. All of these things need to be considered before choosing a course.
Before your course begins, it is a good idea to work out exactly how much time you will have to spend on your studies. Once you know how many hours you will be spending on your course, you can start making changes to your weekly schedule.
If you have children to look after, then it might be an idea to hire a childminder for a few hours a week. This will give you some free time to focus on your studies. It is also a great idea to discuss your studies with your boss, they may be able to offer you more flexible working hours that are more suitable for your needs.
Find schedule changes your employer and your family can make over the next few months, and then try and stick to them as much as possible.
As we mentioned above, studying can take up a lot of time. If you want to reduce the amount of time you spend travelling to and from campus, then studying online is a great option for you. Studying online not only saves you time, but it can also save you money too. There are lots of amazing courses and degrees for you to choose from including business degrees and degrees for regional nurses. Click here for info on the different types of online nursing degrees available.
Build a Support Team
In many areas of life, we need others to help us to reach our goals. This is particularly true when we are trying to balance school, work, family, and everything else we have going on in our lives.
The first people you should turn to for help and support are your family and friends. Some of them might be able to help you overcome your issues. For example, they may be able to offer childcare or they may be able to help with some of your responsibilities like washing your clothes. While others might be able to listen to your worries and offer some advice.
It is also a good idea to talk to your boss or your manager about your academic pursuits. They may be able to help you achieve your goals or they may want to support you while you train. For example, they may allow you to take time off to study or they may let you work more flexible hours to suit your needs.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed when you have lots of priorities to manage. In order to stay on top of it all, you will need to stay organised. Keep your work things separate from your school materials. Clearly label folders and notebooks for different classes or assignments. Sort and store handouts and documents from class in folders instead of leaving them loose on a worktop. You also need to stay on top of upcoming class deadlines. Mark deadlines on your calendar so that you do not forget them, and you can plan for them in advance.
Take Time Out
With family, work, and school responsibilities, it is often extremely easy to forget about your personal needs. In order to stop yourself from feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and overworked, schedule some time out during the week for yourself. There are lots of things you can do to relax and unwind after a stressful week. You may choose to read a book, listen to music, or spend time with family and friends.
In addition to this, you also need to consider your mental and physical health: adequate sleep, a good diet, and regular exercise can help you to maintain stamina for lengthy study sessions and long workdays.
Create a Study Space
When you have a lot on your plate, a separate study space is important. The living room is a place for the family to relax and unwind. The kitchen is a place to cook and eat dinner. Even if your home is small, creating a small study area can help you balance your online education with your family and other aspects of your life.
Planning ahead is important for any student, but it is even more important if you have a job and a family to take care of. Mapping out the things you want to get done in a day is a brilliant way to keep yourself accountable and organised. Write down details such as study time, class and work hours, social activities, family events, etc. Be decisive about how you choose to devote your time. If you feel like you will not be able to make something in time, try and come up with an achievable solution.
If you have a family, and you are working either part or full time, the convenience of online education makes it possible for you to continue your education without sacrificing other important commitments. Of course, earning a degree online still requires a lot of determination, time, and focus. However, it is possible. In fact, thousands of students each year manage to gain a degree whilst also going to work and taking care of their families. If you are wanting to balance your family and work life while studying for a degree, then try out some of our suggestions above.