If you are taking evening classes to finish your college degree, you really know how time consuming this can be. As a working adult you probably already know a lot about time management. If you are a working adult with a family, you are really a pro! And, if you are a working adult looking to go back to school, you are going to take your time management skills to the next level. Here are some ideas on how to improve these skills
Students Taking Evening Classes
Balancing all of the important things in life – including your education – is never easy. But here’s a list of time management tips for students taking evening classes. If you implement them in whole or in part, they will almost certainly help you manage your time better.
Make use of “dead time”
Here are a few examples, some of them more obvious than others.
- Do you take lunch breaks at work? If so, you guessed it: bring your books for your evening class. Even if you just have 30 minutes for lunch each day, that’s two and a half extra hours of reading over the course of the week. In other words – a lot!
- How long is your commute to work? If it is long, then that’s perfect study time.
- If you take public transportation to work, such as the bus or train, then you should be reading the entire time.
- If you have to drive, then try recording your class lectures on your smartphone, and then play them back and listen while you drive. If your professor records the lectures and makes them available online for download, even better!
1. Set boundaries, both around your social and your study time
This is fairly straightforward, but often overlooked. If you are going to study, then you need to study. If you are going to take a break, then take a break. Don’t let them bleed into each other, or feel guilty about not doing one when you are doing the other. If you are making use of all of these time management tips, and planned appropriately, then you should have some free time for yourself. Be realistic about how much time that should be, of course. But when you do take time for yourself: make it count!
Also…take 30 minutes or so each day for some physical activity, even if it is just a walk around the block. And don’t try to go right from work to studying – your brain needs a break, which you can accomplish while getting your heart rate up.
2. If possible, team up with your classmates
Meeting new people in your evening classes can be good for many reasons. Do you both have kids? Well, what about trading babysitting shifts? One of you watches all the kids, while the other studies. Then, alternate. Short periods of focused study time will be far more valuable than a long period of distracted school work.This does not have to be limited to childcare, of course. Think about necessary tasks that you can share with someone, and then try it out.
3. Keep the important things in mind
This is not to say that your school work is not important. It is. But you have other important things that need attention, such as your job and your family. It will be difficult, but make sure not to neglect those responsibilities. Here are a few ideas about how to do it:
- In regards to your job: respect your employer. Even if you are planning to get out of there as soon as your new degree allows you to do so, you still need to do your best at your current job. Talk to your manager, and tell her that you are going back to school. By involving them in your life, you will likely enlist their support. See if there are some scheduling changes you can make together that give you a little extra time on days you have class, or ahead of important due dates and final exams.
- In regards to your family, here are a few ideas:
- Talk to your family about the sacrifice you are making to go back to school, let them know it is going to be busy, and even difficult, but ask them to be patient with you and support you. There’s a good chance they will do just that.
- However, don’t forget to to set aside time to play with the kids, and give them undivided attention. Same for your spouse. Plan a date night, or at least a date hour to catch up and check in. You will be glad you did.
- Meal plan and prep at the beginning of the week. If you are the one primarily responsible for cooking meals, then you know how long that can take each day. That’s time you don’t have, especially with school. So, take time on Sunday nights, if possible, to plan your meals and prepare as much as possible ahead of time. This will save you time, money, and headaches throughout the the rest of the week.
Point University’s Evening Program
Enrolling in evening classes is a big step, and a big commitment. You should be excited about the opportunity! There are going to be long days ahead, that’s for sure. But if you follow the steps above, then you can make the most of every extra minute – including some you didn’t even know you had – in order to be well-prepared for your class time.
Interested in getting started on your degree, or finishing one that you left a long time ago?
Point University can help.
Point offers evening classes through its evening program for working adults. You can take classes at any of Point’s six campuses, or online.
For more information, or to apply, please visit point.edu/evening.