Education is the key to taking your life to the next level. Whether you want to pursue your passion, gain new skills, or prepare for your future career in ___________ (you fill in the blank), you are going to need a solid academic background. However, there are several things that should be held just as high – if not higher – as a world class education. Family and work are the essential backbone components to a successful education. Learning to manage your time effectively will not only benefit your scholastic pursuits, but will also strengthen your bond with family and allow you to excel in your workplace.
Balancing these important factors can be challenging, but it can be accomplished with hard work and consistent effort. Your family will benefit from new job opportunities and your employer will invest more into an employee who is looking to move up through the ranks. Here are 5 ways to make sure that nothing is left on the back burner:
- Make a Plan, Make it Happen: Nothing beats a well thought out plan. Taking the time to sit down and evaluate your commitments is essential to staying on top of everything. Select an electronic calendar that you can update on the go. Before the start of each month, take a look at what you know must get accomplished and put those items on a hard calendar. Whether it is a whiteboard or wall hanging calendar, having a hard copy in a central location of your home will help you to remain aware of all that is required of you. Put your bills due dates, doctor appointments, community commitments, work schedule, school schedule, vacations, anything you can think of, get it on your calendar. Don’t forget to add in times that you have set aside for social gatherings – these are just as important. Another perk: your employer asks for your availability and you can print it right of the computer!
- Accountability Counts: Sometimes it can be hard to hold yourself accountable. Think of times when you have tried a diet or seen a friends attempt to lose some excess weight. Many time they are not successful because they never shared their goals with someone in their life that they knew could hold them accountable. This is not to say that it isn’t possible without the help of others. Having a co-self manager will help to remind you of your educational, family, and workplace goals. Those times when you feel as though you have some room to slack or that you might night reach your goal, this person who you have selected can set you on the right path. Make sure to discuss how you want to be reminded or encouraged so that this tactic does not turn into a burden.
- Reward Your Effort: So you spent all day working on your studies, before heading into work for a few hours. You then head home to take care of household responsibilities (e.g. kids, dinner, chores, bills). After a few more hours invested in your studies you think to yourself, “I feel like a robot.” When this hits, and it will, take a break! Give yourself that hour or two sit back and enjoy a movie or book you have been meaning to get to. Head to bed – sometimes those extra hours of sleep will be just what you needed. No matter what you choose, choose something that YOU want to do.
- Teamwork Works: Whether you are tackling chores at home, a project at work, or a trying to master a new subject in school – working within a group pays off tenfold. If you need to clean the main areas of the house, ask you family to pitch-in. Turn it into a game where you set a time limit and try to see who can finish first. At work attempt to set up an assembly line of sorts. Not only can it be fun to try and think of work in a new light, but it is can be valuable to understand the ins and outs of each specific job functions within your workplace. When it comes to pulling together a study group, you have so much room for creativity. You can watch online videos of the subject and discuss what they got wrong and what they got right. Test each other or even play the role of tutor and tutee. Reinforce each function in each setting and you will surely succeed.
- Celebrate Success: When you meet your goal, don’t let it go unnoticed. There is no problem with tooting your own horn! Celebrate your small achievements (and those of others) with little tokens such as cards, balloons, or posters. Draw attention to the biggest achievements by heading out to a nice dinner or getting away for the weekend. When you are reminded of your success and even take some time to relax after the fact, you will be ready to get back into the game – renewed and re energized!
There are so many methods that can be employed when trying to balance family, school, and work. Some may work better for you than others. Most importantly, find a way that you can stick to and allows you to monitor, reevaluate, and reward your personal dreams. For more information on how to get started on your academic journey, while still keeping your family and work commitments in balance contact us. The first step is deciding on the goal you want to reach for!