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The Great Juggling Act: Balancing Work, School, and Family

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There are many benefits to acquiring a degree. However, enjoying a nice leisurely life, while balancing a full-time job, a family, and an online degree program may not be one of those benefits. The journey to acquiring a degree can be rewarding, yet difficult. This is particularly true for those students that pursue a degree while working full-time and caring for a family. However, there is good news.

With proper planning, an excellent strategy, and plenty of discipline, it can be done. In fact, the process can even become enjoyable. More importantly, the reward at the end will make it all worth it. Following these four strategies will dramatically increase any student’s chance for success.

clip_image002Maintaining a Calendar or Planner

One of the difficult things about balancing many responsibilities is keeping up with all of the important deadlines along the way. Each week there will be homework assignments, soccer games for kids, and meetings at work. It can be almost impossible trying to remember all of these deadlines without a calendar. Placing these deadlines on a calendar not only ensures that each of them get met, but it can significantly reduce the stress and anxiety that comes with trying to remember them.

Setting Weekly Goals

Goal setting is very important. It is easy to become stressed when all of life’s responsibilities begin stacking up. Once that happens, many students find themselves spending more time stressing about not meeting these demands than actually addressing the real issue. It is important to write down the responsibilities for each week and set goals for when each task will be completed. This makes it much easier to get everything done.

Setting Appropriate Boundaries

Family should always be more important than school. As a result, family should come first. But, it is important to set healthy boundaries. An effective way to set these boundaries is to have a sit-down discussion with the entire family. In the discussion, it is important to explain the importance of school and the demands that come along with it. As a family unit, a plan should be developed to set aside a specified number of hours each day dedicated to completing school-related work. For single parents with young children this may mean hiring a babysitter or soliciting assistance from family members. For married parents this likely means asking a spouse to take on some extra duties during that time.


Staying on Task

It can be very easy to deviate from the schedule and to chose not to complete a classroom reading assignment or a practice test. However, one night can quickly turn into two nights and then three, etc. It is very important to only deviate from the schedule in extreme circumstances.

This article was written by the team at the Engineering Institute of Technology – experts in online diploma and advanced diploma courses with live instructors.

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Vickie Couturier

Saturday 17th of November 2012

great tips,been there done that,an it is hard to do,but it is possible to do it all an do it well,,,Mine are grown now im helping with the grandkids