Are you thinking of returning to school after a long break? You’re in luck because our higher education institutions now provide an incredible amount of possibilities to working-class people that were formerly full-time students. This means that you can continue your education and possibly advance your profession even if you are currently juggling work and family obligations.
Universities and technical institutes, on the other hand, require commitment, time, and effort. Returning to school, in other words, will not be a “walk in the park,” especially if your time and energy are already being pulled in a variety of areas. If you’re an adult who wants to learn how to manage your time, organize your life, and create a clear strategy for returning to school while working full-time…
Here are four helpful hints for you!
Tip 1: Manage your time with dynamic tools
You must find out how to make the most of the time you will have when you return to school because you will have fewer hours available. One piece of advice you should follow is to replace your to-do list with a calendar in order to stay organised and on track.
There are numerous causes for this:
- It alters your behavior: things you place on calendars are the ones you consider to be the most important, therefore you will prioritize them instead.
- It reminds you how much time you have: Because a calendar is based on time, it constantly reminds you how much time you have to finish tasks, encouraging you to do so in a methodical and orderly manner.
- It can be used for objectives: tools like Google Calendar allow you to set and incorporate your most significant goals into your daily, weekly, and monthly calendar, boosting your chances of fulfilling them.
- It allows you to organize meetings more efficiently: being able to share calendars with others increases the likelihood that your meetings will take place at a time and date that is convenient for everyone.
Another piece of advice is to avoid multitasking because it does not boost performance or allow you to complete more tasks. Multitasking, on the other hand, degrades your performance. Instead, picture what you need to do and then create a work order with a specific number of tasks to complete at any given moment.
Begin by dividing your tasks into three categories:
Concentrate only on the tasks that must be completed, and then transfer them to the ‘done’ section once they have been completed. Then, from the ‘options’ part, select a task and move it to the ‘doing’ section, focusing on it until it is accomplished. Rinse and repeat as needed.
Fun fact: this method is known as Kanban, and it was created by Toyota in the 1940s to assist them control overproduction.
Tip 2: Schedule Free Time
A postgraduate curriculum or education is not something that can be completed in a single day. As a result, you should arrange your new school life as a marathon rather than a sprint.
Naturally, this is easier said than done, since we frequently feel guilty about taking pauses. However, nothing could be further from the truth! Giving yourself some free time boosts your total productivity, according to new research, which identified five significant benefits of taking breaks:
- Constant sitting, which is commonly linked with working and learning, increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression.
- Getting more done: making too many decisions during the day can lead to tiredness, which can lead to procrastination, poor time management, and bad decision-making.
- Breaks and free time boost innovation and sustained concentration, which helps you fulfil long-term objectives and goals.
- Increased productivity and creativity: Studies suggest that taking a break from work or studying refreshes the mind and relieves stress, resulting in increased productivity, creativity, and engagement.
- Improved memory and learning: the brain has a chance to store what you’ve just learned in memory for long-term retention and retrieval during rest times.
The Pomodoro Technique, which advocates taking a 2- to 5-minute break after every 25-35 minutes of work or study, is one of the most successful work-break methodologies. It is supposed to aid in the reduction of decision-making fatigue, the reduction of distractions (both mental and external), the control of time management, the increase of accountability, the creation of structured planning, the maintenance of motivation, and the reduction of back discomfort. Give it a shot.
Tip 3: Prioritize Your Responsibilities
Because you’ll be juggling extra duties when you return to school, you’ll want to prioritize the most critical tasks first.
If you are not fully prepared, studying for an exam the next day will have to take precedence over eating out with the family. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t dine out with your family; rather, you should do so only when it makes sense. Of course, you can use the Kanban approach to prioritize your school, work, and family life, but there is a simpler way to do so:
- Make a list of your most important responsibilities.
- Sort them into a hierarchy of importance.
- Set a deadline for each one’s completion (most important should have the shortest deadline).
- As needed, rearrange the order and set a new deadline (be flexible).
Because your family, work, and school will all take precedence at times, flexibility is essential. It all relies on what the situation necessitates.
We advocate the 100-year-old Ivy League Method, which was created to manage large-scale commercial workloads. Large corporations, such as Bethlehem Steel, an American steel titan, have utilized it to boost productivity, creativity, and organization inside their corporate culture. This is how it goes:
- Make a list of the six most critical tasks you need to get done the next day at the conclusion of each day. This can include work, school, family, and personal responsibilities.
- Sort the things on your list in order of importance from most important to least important.
- Begin with the most important task at the start of each day, on your to-do list.
- Follow up items that you didn’t get to do during your work or school day to the list for the next day.
- Rinse and repeat as needed.
Tip 4: Get Some More Help
ber that you are not alone if you are feeling overwhelmed by the new expectations that higher education entails. 90 percent of Singaporean university students are anxious on a regular basis, while 65 percent of working parents say balancing work and family life is extremely tough. If you find yourself in this scenario, you will require more assistance.
The good news is that your local institution has a wealth of resources and guidance to assist you in achieving a satisfying work-life balance. You can also ask your professors, counselors, and peers who have experience balancing employment and school commitments whether they know of any organizations or centers that can assist you in this respect.
Returning to school as an adult is difficult but not impossible. You shouldn’t have too much trouble adjusting to your new routine if you can manage your work and school in a systematic way utilizing the tips and tools given in this article.
Consider this: once you’ve completed your higher education, you’ll have additional talents at your disposal to assist you to develop your career in whichever profession you choose.
The advantages of returning to school much outweigh the disadvantages, so don’t be scared to earn your education and maximize your job potential through further education. We wish you all the best.