Returning to school is something many people consider at some point in their lives. A college degree can provide a graduate with the opportunity to move up the ladder at work or switch careers altogether. Even though people know that a college degree can be beneficial, many decide against returning to school due to other obligations. No matter how busy your life is, you can make time for school. Here are five tips for balancing home, work, kids and education.
1. Be Realistic
While you may have dreams of working full-time, taking care of the kids and taking a full course load at school, the reality is that you will never have the time necessary to do all of those things well. Instead of setting such lofty goals for yourself, set realistic goals that are attainable. By breaking your ultimate goal into small pieces, you’ll set yourself up for success instead of failure.
2. Schedule Your Time
Believe it or not, there is enough time in the day to get everything done. If you schedule your time properly, you’ll have no problem doing all that you need to do in a day. Keep one calendar for all of your obligations so that you don’t miss a single appointment, assignment or soccer match. If your days are too full, consider getting up an hour or two before everyone else. You may be surprised at how much you can accomplish before the kids get out of bed.
3. Get Organized
Many people experience anxiety and restlessness when their environment is cluttered and disorganized. Whether you complete your coursework in your home office, in a corner of the living room or at the kitchen table, organize your space. Keep all of your school supplies and textbooks within easy reach and reduce your clutter. Getting and staying organized will help you keep your focus and stay on track.
4. Take Breaks
You won’t be able to operate at full speed every minute of the day; it’s important that you take breaks when you need them. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed by the pace that you are trying to keep, stop for a moment and just breathe. By giving yourself time to pause, you can return to your work refreshed and focused. Whether you read a few pages of a favorite book, take a walk around the block or sit on the porch with a cup of tea, giving yourself some “me” time will help you stay on track.
5. Ask For Help
If you ever feel like you need help along your journey, be sure to ask for it. If you need to get the kids out of your hair for an hour, ask your partner to take them to the park. If you need help with your math problems, ask your professor or a fellow student for assistance. Don’t ever wait until the last minute to ask for help or you’ll find yourself frustrated and falling behind.
No matter what you have going on in your life, you can make time for something as important as your education. If you organize yourself, set realistic goals and ask for help when you need it, you can balance all of your life’s obligations. Don’t put off your education for one more day! Balancing home, work and school may be difficult but it will pay off in the long run.