Ways to Balance Online Courses and Work Responsibilities

Online courses provide great conveniences, but it still takes a lot of self-discipline to balance work life with your academic responsibilities. After a busy eight-hour workday and handling family chores, school work is the top priority. The bills must be paid, children must be fed, and reports must get done.

For those pursuing college degrees online, here are some ways to create balance.

Make a Plan

Only by making a schedule can you be sure to complete all your academic tasks on time. Choosing the right program and class load is crucial, but then there’s the work. Write down all the tasks you need to do. By creating a calendar for the week, you can set times for school work, meals, family activities and personal time. In short, you need to:

  • Set expectations: Know and list your priorities before you start online programs. Not only will this help prevent procrastination but also help you realize if you’re able to combine work and two or three hours of school per night.
  • Make goals: Are you considering school to learn a new skill, earn a degree or increase your chances of a promotion at work? Without a reason, enrolling in an online college isn’t going to get you anywhere.
  • Stick to priorities: Once you set goals and a schedule, you need to be consistent with your priorities. There will be days you need extra time for studying and homework. Seeing through to your goals can be a challenge, but perseverance pays off.

Manage Your Time

There’s no doubt—online college courses test your time management skills. Update your weekly calendar when new assignments come up or you are informed about important due dates and tests. Be attentive to detail and organized, and your hard work will pay off. This way, you not only meet deadlines but complete your work ahead of time.

Think of School as a Job

Online classes are similar to traditional courses in many ways. You have a tangible goal in mind. Plus, intensive courses demand your full attention. Any distraction can limit your success and be consistent with attendance, as missing any detail can cascade into a pattern of failure.

Communicate with Those Around You

Discuss your online education with others. Your family and work colleagues may be interested, but keep in mind they may depend on you for things. Communicate your schedule and commitments, which can help manage scheduling and reduce your anxieties about managing a work/life/school balance.

Take Time Off

Even though work, school, and family responsibilities keep you busy, your own personal needs are still there. Set aside time for exercise, sleep, and eating a healthy diet. This helps maintain your energy and stamina on those long days.

Contact Upper Iowa University Today!

A nationally recognized provider of distance education, Upper Iowa University offers online degrees in many high-demand fields. For more information on our online college courses and what we offer, visit our website or call us at 800-553-4150.