If you’ve been wanting to go back to college forever to finish your degree, get your MBA, or just get a certificate to improve your earning potential at the office, you know that factoring the time it takes to fit college into your already busy life can be a challenge. The good news is your busy life isn’t something that has to hold you back from reaching your educational goals. We have some great tips to help you balance your schedule and make it work for you.
- Online Classes. If your schedule won’t permit for committing to regular evening or weekend classes, online classes might be the perfect solution for you. You can fit in some school time when your kids are napping, when you’re on your lunchbreak, or between appointments with clients. For a flexible schedule that works around the demands of your busy life, online classes is the way to go.
- Schedule Your Time. When examining your weekly schedule, do you find that you’re spending 7+ hours in front of the boob tube each week? While relaxation is important to a balanced individual, you could easily cut down the time you’re zoning in front of the TV and devote a few of those hours to going back to college. Look at your schedule and find times that would work well for you, whether that’s first thing in the morning or after dinner. Schedule study time on your calendar and stick with it. You’ll progress far faster this way. Also, if you have an Android smart phone, check out these student planner apps we recommend!
- Ask for Help. If you want to pare back from your 40 hour workweek to 30+ hours to make more time for school, talk to your boss to see if you can work something out. If having your spouse help with the kids a few nights a week would free you up to work on your assignments, this is a worthwhile conversation to have. Remember that the people you care about want you to succeed and can help if you ask.
- Be Flexible and Realistic. When setting your educational goals, be flexible and realistic. While you may be on a trajectory to graduate next spring, if something unexpected comes up, adjust accordingly to deal with it.
- Engage in Self Care. Just because you’re going back to college doesn’t mean that all-nighters should become a regular occurrence in your life. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising, and enjoying down time on a regular basis. You’ll be more alert and fresh for college when you do.
- Reward Yourself. As you make progress with your college goals, don’t forget to reward yourself along the way. A vacation to Cancun might be your ultimate reward once you graduate, but it’s smart have small rewards along the way to keep you motivated. That might include buying a new book, game, app for your phone, or that pair of shoes you’ve been eyeballing. Whatever the case may be, celebrating the small successes will help you stay on the path!