For many busy adults, going to school online has become not just an opportunity to learn but also a beacon of hope for improving skills, getting a degree or changing careers. Unlike a traditional brick and mortar school, where attendance is set by an instructor’s schedule, online learning is set by the hours the students are available, which puts it within reach of many who could never have dreamed of finding the time necessary to further their education.
Time management skills are crucial for those thinking about juggling online school and work. Many students find that spending 30 to 60 minutes each weekday, followed by a four or five-hour block on the weekends, allows them ample time to complete all their assignments and still have a life outside of school and work. The trick is to set a specific time each day that can be specifically blocked out for schoolwork. Tackling small amounts of work each day can prevent last-minute procrastination panic.
Of course, this assumes that adult students working full-time can find an hour each day. Surprisingly, this can be just a matter of adjusting the normal routine of the day. For example, reading textbooks on breaks or during lunch at work, replacing music on the MP3 with a downloaded lecture during exercise, or reading a book while commuting on the subway are all ways that active adults can add studying to their workday.
Busy moms or dads who go back to school can benefit from the same homework hours they assign to the children. Not only does this allow for a set “quiet time” to do schoolwork, but it provides an example that will stay with the children long after graduation.
Those who worry there are just not enough hours in the day should think about enlisting help from the outside to discover hidden time to study. A maid service, lawn care company or dog walker can lessen stress and add hours to the day. Many grocery stores offer online shopping and no or low-cost delivery, freeing up more time for studying. Or try planning ahead with a neighbor or friend to get the kids out of the house during finals, with a promise to return the favor once the class is over of course.
Juggling online learning and full-time work can be a daunting task. However with preparation, and commitment, it can be not only manageable, but enjoyable. And the benefits that can be found by getting that additional degree or marketable skill will make it all worthwhile.