When I started my MBA program, which is one night a week, we were told to expect to study outside of class 8-12 hours a week. At first, I worried I wouldn’t be able to carve out that time from my already busy schedule of work and home. I will outline what helped me realize a flexible schedule that makes life manageable.
Time Management Hacks for Going Back to School
Are you wondering how you will manage your time among work, family, and school? What is helpful is to create a flexible schedule to shadow in lumps of time during your week. Here is my sample week:
School night. I work then my husband and I coordinate pick up of kids and meet at home. I have a few minutes to pack dinner/snacks and my bag for school. After class, I am usually revved up and sometimes I will take the material that is fresh in my mind and do assignments. Or not.
Thursday – Friday
My husband works these nights so I have to wait until the kids are in bed to study. I like to get reading and homework done early in the week so that I don’t run out of time when Tuesday rolls around.
Saturday – Sunday
My husband works Saturday days so sometimes I can study if both kids are napping or I ask my older one for quiet time. Sundays I can ask my partner to take the kids out so I can be alone.
Monday – Tuesday
My work is flexible – I can be remote and if I get my work done I am able to cram in MBA work during the day. If I was too busy to get to studying earlier in the week, then I make sure I can do it now.
The Planning Fallacy
How else can you set yourself up for success? Don’t fall into the Planning Fallacy trap! As soon as I get the next Syllabus in hand, I map out what the next 8 weeks are going to center on. There will be milestones that need to be hit so that a big paper isn’t due next week and I think I have plenty of time to cram it in.
Employ all your calendars to work to your advantage: block out chunks of time, set reminders for tasks – big and small – and let others know you’re not free!
Need to watch a YouTube video for an assignment? Have it ready to play in the car so you can listen while you ride/drive.
There you have it! Best-laid plans will allow you to succeed at this Going Back to School dream!