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Balancing Time for School
by Paul

 It is quite challenging for adult students to balance their daily responsibilities.  Adult students need to divide their time and energy between their studies and their home and family life.  Furthermore, if an adult student is employed in addition to taking courses, then balancing his or her responsibilities becomes even more difficult.  To succeed in their courses with only a little or no sacrifice of time to their family life, adult students need to carefully manage their time and prioritize their daily tasks.

The following suggestions will help adult learners succeed in their studies with minimal disruptions to their other obligations:

Plan as much as possible in advance.  It’s important to plan your time at the start of each day for that day’s activities, while maintaining a long term plan to the end of the semester and even to the year’s end.  With careful planning and by having a plan in place, you can check if you are allocating your time wisely to your studies, to your family, and/or to your work.   It’s easy to modify a plan if one already exists.

Take small steps at the start.  As you begin your courses as an adult student, it’s best not to overload yourself with too many courses, or even with courses that are very demanding.  Take only a few courses at the start.  Then, you can later increase your course-load depending on your time and commitments outside of school.

Keep you schoolwork organized and separated from other things.  It’s best to keep your school material in one place, and to treat your studies as a completely separate activity from your other daily activities.  For example, don’t attend to homework at work or while playing with your children.  This approach will make it easier for you to focus only on your schoolwork when working on school assignments.

Keep physically fit and stay active.  It’s important to stay healthy in order to respond well to your responsibilities at home, at school, and/or at work.  Be sure to take breaks throughout each day to relax and to collect your thoughts.  Eat a healthy diet, and exercise regularly.

Take advantage of our Adult Learning Centre’s wide choice of courses and different course schedules.  Courses can be taken in the morning, afternoon, and evening.  Furthermore, we offer courses in-class or self-paced.  Depending on your coursework level, you may be able to select the courses and times that fit best into your busy daily schedule.

Work smarter, not harder!  Investigate the learning style which works best for you.  You could be a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner.  When applying the learning style which is best for you, your learning and studying become most efficient.  You will save time studying, get more out your coursework, and could even apply the appropriate learning technique to situations outside of your coursework.

Remind yourself of your educational goal.  Adult students take courses for many different reasons.  Perhaps to just gain English language skills, or to meet graduation requirements, or to complete entrance requirements into a post-secondary program at a college or university.  Don’t hesitate to remind yourself periodically why you are taking courses – this reminder will keep you motivated and focused on your goal.

In summary, overcoming the difficult balance between schoolwork, family life, and/or work is not simple for many adult students.  The best way to overcome this challenge is through careful planning and managing of time.  The flexibility in our Learning Centre’s schedule of courses will likely help you organize and plan your days better so that you may have more time for your family and/or work.  See you at our Learning Centre!

Useful links:

Setting Effective Goals by L

Work Smarter, Not Harder!  by Tazim

(December 11, 2011)

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Weekly Feature Index

(Includes all 2002 to date Weekly Features with descriptions)