Balancing Work, Studies, and Family

Balancing Work, Studies, and Family

19 February 2017

Have you ever considered further study, then thought about your already busy life, and dismissed the idea as crazy?

In all seriousness though, for most of us, putting food on the table while gaining more skills to build an extraordinary career seems like a recipe for a complete burnout! If you already have a bag full of balls that you’re trying to keep in the air, how do you add one more ball and keep everything in balance? However, in today’s competitive world, more and more people are recognising that a further education is integral to achieving the life you want.

So, work, kids and studying – is it even possible? Finding the balance between family, work, projects, tests, exams, and a social life… can it realistically be done? Sure, it’s not for everyone, but parents just like you have mastered the art of successfully studying part-time while holding down a full-time job.

How did they do it without going off the deep end? Thing is, just because it’s difficult, doesn’t mean it’s impossible. The key is to come up with creative solutions that work for you.

Here are a few strategies for working and studying simultaneously for, shall we say, “the mature student”:

Choose a course where you can be flexible. Consider an online course, it is a great alternative to having to physically attend classes.

Wake up half an hour earlier. It may not seem like a great deal of time, but it can make all the difference if you’re able to re-read a chapter with a fresh pair of eyes.

Have a set homework hour every evening and stick to it. After bedtime stories have been read, have a space where you can study without distractions.

Break it up into small manageable chunks. Do a little every day.

Plan your life. To-do lists and daily reminders are invaluable. Use a wall calendar to work out when you’ll need assignments done and exams prepared. Enter any work, family and personal commitments; that way you’ll know what’s coming up and you can plan your studies around it. Leave a time buffer in case emergencies arise.

Expect curveballs. Not everything is in your control. What is in your control is how you handle them.

Have support. You can do it all, but you can’t do it alone. Ask your family beforehand if they’d be willing to handle more duties. Ask them to let you know what’s really important and where they could cut you some slack. If not, then that’s okay – use lateral thinking to work around it; it can be done.

Simplify your life. Do the in-laws really have to visit this weekend or could you meet them at a local café instead? Cut back where you can.

Maximise your commute. Convert your study material into audio files and listen to them during your commute.

Sneak it in. Waiting to pick up the kids or waiting at the doctor’s office? Turn these moments into micro study sessions. Snap photos of flashcards on your smartphone and use those to study.

Take “me” time. Study is work too. Schedule time for yourself. Eat healthily, exercise, and get enough sleep.

Keep your eyes on the prize. Focus on the endgame. Things will get crazy, and you will feel overwhelmed, but remind yourself often why you’re doing this.

So, challenge accepted? Good!

“Don’t let what you think you can’t do, stop you from what you can do – John Wooden.


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.

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