Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Family & Study: The Ultimate Balancing Act

One of the hardest skills that most parents feel they can not master is the skill of balance. When you are already working around the clock in a full-time job, and you have children, time is severely limited. The idea of throwing study into the mix is inconceivable! There never seems to be enough time in the day as it is, so trying to get back to school? Not always easy.

However, this doesn't mean that it’s impossible! You can go back to study if you want to get busy with your own dreams, but you need to find your balance. It’s not going to be a simple process and life will feel hectic, but this is something that you want to do for yourself, which means that you’ll be able to do it if you are organized. Whether you are looking to go back to study engineering or you want to add qualifications in providing primary care, you can make your dreams come true even with children as a part of your equation. Going back to school is a big step, so let’s take a look at something that you could be doing to balance your work, study and family life.
Silhouette of Man
  • Wake Up Earlier
You may not think it, but half an hour is something that can make a big difference to your day. If your usual wake up time is 7 am, get up at 6.30 am. Thirty minutes can make a big difference if you can fit in half an hour of writing a list for the day or re-reading a chapter of an assignment that you have already started. Waking up can help you to get your day started on a positive note.

  • Set Time For Homework
When you’re back at school, you are given a certain amount of work to do by a specific deadline. Yes, the evenings are busy, but once the kids are in bed, you can settle for an hour of study or writing and do it without the distractions of noise and playtime. 

  • Make A Rota
When you are working full time, you need to divide your remaining time between the kids and your studies. You can hire a cleaner for the house if you must, which will give you more time than you are used to. Create a rota to keep up with everything else and follow it strictly!

  • Get Some Help
Most student parents get some childcare help for those days where life spills over a little. More than that, though, you need to make your college aware of your children and your situation so that you can extend deadlines and get some extra help with assignments. 

  • Give Yourself Mini Goals
Make sure you set small, realistic targets, so you have a clear view of what needs doing and don’t overstretch yourself. Breaking studying down into bite-sized chunks by setting yourself lots of small goals can really help you see how much progress you’re making. When you see improvement, you’re motivated to do more!

  • Get A Study Buddy
You need to find someone in a similar situation to you and pair up. Those days you cannot attend a seminar or a lecture, you need someone to back you up and take notes for you. It can also give you the push you need to study harder before a test - a study buddy is invaluable for this.

  • Remember Your Why
It would help if you remembered why you went back to school in the first place and what it means for you to return to education. Keep praising yourself and give yourself goals to hit. Take the evening and remember why you’re doing this and who it’s for; it will spur you on.
Woman About to Write on Paper
  • Note How You Spend Your Time
It can be a big help to you to take note of the way that you spend your time. This way, you can learn where you are wasting minutes. Once you determine where the waste is, you can cut it back and use those wasteful minutes to learn more. Doing what you can to study and fit in family time around your own work deadlines will be stressful, but worth every single second!

  • Manage Your Stress
It would be best if you worked in ways of time for self-care, and that means reducing your stress as much as possible. You can meditate, go to yoga, get enough sleep and try to drink enough water. Get as much exercise as you can in between your study time. If you can’t fit in a gym workout, get the kids out of the house and play a sports game together. You won’t regret it!

  • Study At Work
If you can, speak to your employer about your new course. They can help you out with time to study around tasks/between phone calls/offer learning and development options. This is ideal when you’re unsure when you can find the time for studying at home. Your employer can be an invaluable resource so use them as much as possible to get your studying done and pass your degree with flying colors.

  • Identify Your Learning Style
It would help if you worked to shine a light on your learning style as early as possible. Kinetic learners can learn by doing, with visual learners writing everything down and audio learners recording lectures to hear back later on. Once you know your style, you can work it around everything else in your life.

Real-life is going to slap you in the face over and over when you are trying to find a balance. However, don't let this get you down. As much as possible, it would help if you worked on you, your kids and your job, and this means it’s going to be tough. Studying as a parent opens a whole new world of worrying, but you will be shocked by the level of support that you will receive by people around you - they only want to see you achieve.

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