Today, millions of professionals are now going for online study courses as it allows them to further their education and boost the employability while they work. So if you are planning to study an online degree to land the next big promotion, then it is certainly a great idea. However, you must realise that balancing your studies and work can be a daunting task and time management will prove to be a huge challenge, among others.
Devon Haynie, education reporter at U.S. News, recently wrote about her own online learning experience “Doing your homework is never fun, even when you have endless time to do it. Add a 9-to-5 job to the mix, and the fun level plummets even further. Who wants to work all day, come home, head to the gym, make dinner and then do problem sets for two hours – particularly if you could be Internet shopping or watching ‘Project Runway?’ As for my classmates with kids, I don’t know how they juggle it all. I can hardly carve out the time to spend five minutes playing with my cat. ”
So if you think you will also have a hard time in balancing your work, online studies and your personal life, then here are some helpful tips for you-
Create a schedule
Make sure to note down your work and study obligations so that you can follow proper timings as and when required. After observing how your days are shaping up, identify flexible time zones so that you can make necessary adjustments to your professional and academic commitments. Keep aside a chunk of time everyday for your assignments and coursework. You can also maintain a calender and mark important deadlines and due dates.
Make adjustments to your work schedule
Can you go to work earlier? Will that help in your studies? Are there options for working on weekends or working from home? Will making changes to the work schedule help you with your studies? If you are pursuing a degree that can boost your career, then try to find out ways to adjust your work cycles.
Set your priorities first. Let’s face it, you cannot do everything all at once. Make sure you focus on either work or study at a time. Make time on a weekly basis to prioritise which assignments and projects you need to complete first in both work and online studies.
Devon Haynie wrote “I get too distracted. When my own phone rings, I feel like I need to answer it. And then there is the Internet, beckoning me to lose myself, and all sense of time, down the rabbit hole that is Facebook. I’ve been trying to sneak my studying in on the weekend, on planes and trains, and in bed before I go to sleep. As you might imagine, the latter option is the least successful.”
Utilise available resources
Use all the resources available at your disposal whether from work or your online school which can help you with your tasks, make the situation more comfortable & save your time.
Staying motivated is very important when you are balancing your work and online studies. You can take help from your fellow learners and create a group where you can interact, share problems and offer solutions to each other. This will create a group of highly motivated and supportive individuals set to achieve their goals.
Staying positive is crucial in this situation. Keep reminding yourself why you are studying online and working at the same time. Stay focused on your goal, think about the award and how it will benefit you.
Here are some more ways to enhance your online learning.
Got some more ideas to balance work and studies? Then feel free to share them with us by leaving your comments below.