Balancing school, work and family

Lifestyle Wednesday 11/July/2018 18:27 PM
By: Times News Service
Balancing school, work and family

It may not be easy, but many are doing it, balancing school, work and family. It's a difficult task and those who do it will tell you they sometimes feel as though they are being pulled in three directions at the same time. If you are already struggling to achieve balance, or are considering adding school to your already busy life, there are things you can do to not only survive but thrive in managing these demands.
Below is a collection of gathered advice from students who are "doing it all" and these tips can help you manage your busy life and find balance:
* Have your goal from the beginning. Navigating through the tough times — and they will come — is really a matter of motivation. For starters, decide what are you going to school for. If your answer is simply because you feel you should, it will be tough to stick with it. Instead focus on your goals. Maybe you want to buy a permanent home for your family, to grow your career or find a job that will help you pay for your child's college.
* Explore your options. All of your options. Education models simply aren't one-size-fits-all. There may be certain programmes designed specifically for your lifestyle — you just may not be aware of them. For some, flexibility may be a key factor, while for others — and, in fact, for most — cost is the biggest factor in selecting a programme.
* Develop your support system. When balancing school, work and family, it's important to realise you don't have to go it alone. Students who juggle multiple demands recommend asking for help from grandparents, friends and neighbours. An evening babysitter can free you up to study and get your school work done quickly. Childcare can get expensive, so consider a no-cost childcare swap with a friend or neighbour. Ask if they can take care of your child on nights when you have class and in return, you can take care of their kids on other nights.
* Get organised. When you have little to no spare time, you can't afford to waste it. Planning your daily and weekly activities through a resource like Google Calendar can help you stay on top of all your obligations and identify pockets of free time that you can spend studying or simply running errands.
* Don't forget about you. Many busy students say that with all of the competing demands on their time, it's easy to forget about themselves. In your role as an employee, parent and student, it's easy to forget that you need some "me time" to prevent burnout. Protect your sleep at all costs and don't be afraid to schedule end-of-semester rewards for yourself. A massage, a nice meal out with family, a trip to the movies or even a round of golf can be just the thing you need to energise your spirit, so you can devote even more attention and passion to your schoolwork, your job and, of course, your family.
Finding balance between your home, work and school lives can be one of the most difficult tasks for adult students. But, as many can attest, it is possible. Apply the tips above and stick with it. The rewards will certainly be worth your efforts.