During these unprecedented times, you may find yourself needing to balance your work schedule and activities with that of your children’s school work and activities.
One of the many benefits of online classes is they can be prioritized around a work schedule. Unfortunately, this balancing act is more easily said than done, especially when combined with the demands of family and extracurricular activities.
Below are some tips to help you make the adjustment in your new lifestyle.
- 1. Get organized
- 2. Learn to be flexible
- 3. Communicate your schedule
- 4. Prioritize a homework space
- 5. Revisit stress management skills
Organization is an important skill in achieving academic success. When you throw work, families, single parenting, etc. into the mix, organization is even more critical. If you aren’t organized by nature, now is the time to figure out a system that works for you. For many, organization apps designed for smart phones and/or tablets are the easiest way to maintain a busy calendar. For others, traditional hand-written planners provide a visual of what needs to be done. Once you find the system that works for you, make sure you use it.
Once you’re organized, you will learn to separate your inflexible times, i.e., class times and work hours, from your more flexible times. It’s important to be flexible so you can accommodate the unexpected scenarios that will arise.
Once you have created your schedule, it’s important to communicate it to your employers, clients, family members, day care providers, friends, etc. School life may be secondary to your work life, but in order to have your school schedule respected, the people in your life need to have an idea of what to expect. This could be a calendar you present, or you may need to create more regular calendar updates to present at the beginning of each month, week, etc. This way everyone will know where you are at, and when, and will have a greater understanding of your demands and responsibilities.
If you already work from home, this might not be necessary. Otherwise, it’s important that you have a dedicated study area so you (or your children) can work on school assignments and projects. You will need a space that is organized and conducive to studying. Even if it’s just a small corner of a room, the ability to access pens, papers, laptop, a floor lamp, etc. will help you to concentrate and stay on task.
Let’s face it, balancing online classes and work life is going to be stressful. This means you need to have a “go-to” plan for stressful moments. Make sure you prioritize exercise, quiet time, and/or a few moments each day to center yourself. The more relaxed and calm you are, the easier it will be to remain focused, and stay on track.
(written by: Donna)