I’m guessing you’re here to learn how to juggle being a parent and full time student, while also working a full time job.
On one hand, you want to spend as much time with your babies while they are little. I totally get it! I really do. But you also want to give them the best life you can give them. I get that, too.
When my daughter turned one, I had a major life crisis. I wasn’t where I wanted to be in my career. I was a stay at home mom, which I loved, by the way. But I needed to be out doing things I love.
Exactly one month after her birthday, I decided to go back to school to finish my Bachelor’s Degree. & honestly, it was the best decision I’ve ever made.
Learning to properly manage your time can be a daunting, but rewarding task. Procrastination gets no one anywhere. The sooner you learn to get your shit together and manage your time, the sooner you will be more successful.
Especially when you’re trying to juggle 5 million tasks in the same minute.
First off, you need to become aware of how you use your time. You need to organize and prioritize to succeed in school, parenting, your career, etc.
First, ask yourself :
“How do I spend my time each day?”
A helpful thing that I have done, is map out EVERYTHING you do each day. See how many hours you spend at work, at class, sleeping, etc.
Once you’ve mapped it all out, you can see how much time you have each day to do all the extra things to help you reach where you want to be.
For instance, I know that from 6pm-8am every single day I am spending time with family and/or sleeping. That is important to me.
I also know that from 12-2, my daughter is taking her nap. Therefore, this is my best chance at being productive. This is when I work on my school work or my blog.
Mapping out your time is the easiest way to see where you’re spending countless hours watching Netflix, when you could be reading a chapter for class or taking your dog for a walk with your baby.
Priorities, people! “Family first” is my motto!
First things first :
Create study habits. Making studying a habit (instead of a dreadful task) will really help you buckle down and focus.
Schedule time to study
Booking a specific time each day to study is one of the best things you can do. Studying 30-45 minutes a day will help you retain more information than studying for 6 hours the night before a test.
If you block off one hour each day to study, that gives you two 20 minute study sessions with a 20 minute break in the middle. This break can be to have a snack, take a short walk, clear your mind.
But you ALWAYS have to come back to finish studying. The short break in the middle will help you clear your mind and recollect your thoughts.
Prioritize your assignments/projects
The easiest way to tackle a mountain of assignments is to begin with the hardest or least fun assignment.
I know, I know. I sound crazy. But hear me out…
When you begin with the most difficult task first, you have a fresh mind and you will be more motivated to get it done faster.
Your easier projects/assignments will be a walk in the park.
You see what I’m saying?
Reread and review your notes and readings before class
Jot down any questions that you may have about the material. If you’re shy, wait and catch the professor after class. You want to make sure you’re understanding the material correctly.
By reaching out to the professor to ask questions, it shows them that you are serious, interested, and prepared for class. Bonus points!
During class, highlight key ideas or vocabulary that the professor emphasized
Your professor gives lectures for a reason. If you’ve already written something in your notes because you thought it was important and then the professor goes into detail about it, it’s probably a key point and you should probably make sure you have it in your notes.
Some professors even go as far as telling you that something will be on the final exam/test.
Review your lecture notes after class
Did you know that forgetting is greatest within 24 hours without review?
Yep! If you don’t review your notes within 24 hours of learning them, you retain less than half the information.
Take 5-10 minutes and look over your notes. Really focus on things that you have highlighted.
Dedicate a distraction free study zone
Do you study best at your desk? The library? A coffee shop? Wherever it may be, go there.
Study free of distractions.
Put that phone on airplane mode (or “Do Not Disturb” so that you can still receive calls from emergency contacts) and get to work.
Texting and scrolling through Instagram are just ways that you will get distracted and waste valuable time that you could be using to become successful!!
Review material once a week
Choose a day, once a week (my day is Saturday) to sit down and review everything – yes, I said everything – you’ve learned so far.
Instead of cramming for 8 hours the night before your final, keep the material fresh in your mind all semester long!
Another reason that reviewing weekly is so important is because if you sit down and look at your calendar and upcoming assignments, you may realize something is due sooner than you thought.
Instead of taking a loss of points, you have time to put some work into it so you’re not turning it in late!
Some professors will even give you a zero if you don’t have it in by the due date. And that is not fun.
Utilize your free time
What do you normally do when you have free time? Text your friends, scroll mindlessly through Instagram?
How about, instead of texting or wasting time on social media, while you’re riding the bus to work, or you’re stopping at your dorm for 25 minutes before your next class, flip through some flash cards.
Or while you’re jogging or walking to class, listen to that online lecture that you’re undoubtedly going to have to listen to later anyways.
Time management, friends.
Work first, fun later
I know, there’s frat parties on Friday night and the football game is on Saturday, but wouldn’t you enjoy those things more if you didn’t have an assignment hanging over your head?
Finish your assignment first, with enough time to go to the party or game, and you’ll have so much more fun being out with your friends.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Utlizie your college’s resources. Do they offer tutors or study groups to help you better understand your material? Most campus’ offer onsite tutoring for FREE.
Get in touch with your academic advisor for more information. I’m sure they can point you in the right direction!
JUST GO FOR IT
Jump in there. Start the project you’ve been putting off for two weeks.
Sometimes you have to just jump in the deep end.
Break your project into smaller pieces and work at it a little each day.
Do. Hard. Things.
- Use a planner
Pull out that syllabus that you get at the beginning of the semester and write in your assignments, project due dates, and tests.
Write down other appointments, meetings, and even class times so you know ahead of time when you will be busy.
- Keep a running “To Do” list
By keeping a “To Do” list, you’re constantly remind yourself of things that need to be done.
Check your list every night before bed, to see what upcoming tasks and appointments you have for the next morning.
& check your list every morning to tackle your most difficult tasks first.
- Follow a routine!
The best thing you can do for yourself is establish a routine. After following the same routine for a while, it soon becomes second nature. You’ll just go to your office (or the library) out of habit to study.
If you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends so they can be successful too!!
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