Are you trying to balance classes, family, and a career? It’s difficult, but not impossible, to devote attention to all facets of your life and keep stress to a minimum. Here are a few recommendations:
- Stay organized. Just like when you were in grade school, pack up your books and papers for school the night before, and have them waiting in the same location every morning. Organization also includes a designated workspace for studying, equipped with everything from pencils to extra ink jet cartridges.
- Set a schedule, but build in some downtime. Create an hour-to-hour grid so you can see where the schedule gets too tight. Don’t fill every minute with tasks and projects. Leave a free hour where you can watch TV with your children or go for a walk.
- Be “in the moment.” When you’re at work, concentrate on work. When you’re studying, focus on your assignment. When you’re watching your child’s soccer practice, don’t try to multi-task by studying for an exam. You won’t be able to concentrate fully on either, and you’ll wind up missing out on important family time.
- Cutting corners is okay. If it will allow you extra time with your family, opt for carry-out dinners instead of a home-cooked meal. Wash essential laundry when you need it during the week, but let the rest go until the weekend when you have a little more time.
- Ask for help. Ask family members to take the kids to the park so you can study, or have a close friend pick them up from school so you don’t have to rush from work to home to class.
Keep your eyes on the prize and remember why you decided to return to school. If stress starts to creep in, think about the day you’ll receive your diploma and what it will mean for your future.