Tips for Balancing Online Classes with Work

One of the many benefits of online classes is they can be prioritized around a student's work schedule. Unfortunately, this balancing act is more easily said than done, especially when combined with the demands of family and extracurricular activities. The following tips can empower you to create a schedule that accommodates your varied responsibilities, while keeping your educational goals easily within reach. 5 Tips for Balancing Online Classes With Work Life

  1. Get organized. Organization is an important skill in achieving academic success. When you throw work, families, single parenting, etc. into the mix, organization is even more critical. If you aren't organized by nature, now is the time to figure out a system that works for you. For many students, organization apps, designed for smart phones and/or tablets, are the easiest way to maintain a busy calendar. For others, traditional hand-written planners provide an overarching visual of what needs to be done. Once you find the system that works for you, make sure you use it.
  2. Learn to be flexible. Once you're organized, you will learn to separate your inflexible times, i.e. class times and work hours, from your more flexible times. If you are someone who functions best in a black-and-white world, your re-entry into education, via online classes, will offer the opportunity for you to embrace flexibility. Your online education may require you to collaborate with other students. Classes may be cancelled or a work partner might suddenly cancel on you. It's important to be flexible so you can accommodate the unexpected scenarios that will arise now that you are a student again.
  3. Communicate your schedule. Once you have created your schedule, it's important to communicate it to your employers, clients, family members, day care providers, friends, etc. Your school life may be secondary to your work life, but in order to have your school schedule respected, the people in your life need to have an idea of what to expect. This could be a calendar you present at the start of each term, or you may need to create more regular calendar updates to present at the beginning of each month, week, etc. This way everyone will know where you are at, and when, and will have a greater understanding of your academic demands and responsibilities.
  4. Prioritize a homework space. If you already work from home, this might not be necessary. Otherwise, it's important that you have a dedicated study area where you can work on your school assignments and projects. You will need a space that is organized and conducive to studying. Even if it's just a small corner of a room, the ability to access pens, papers, your laptop, a floor lamp, etc. will help you to concentrate and stay on task.
  5. Revisit stress management skills. Let's face it, balancing online classes and work life is going to be stressful. This means you need to have a "go-to" plan for stressful moments. Make sure you prioritize exercise, quiet time, and/or a few moments each day to center yourself. The more relaxed and calm you are, the easier it will be to remain focused, and stay on track.
Worried about how to balance work life with your online degree program? Contact the Admissions Office of Bryant & Stratton College. We're experts at assisting busy people achieve their academic and professional goals.