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Managing Your Life While Earning an Online Degree

11/22/2010 10:00 am

earning an online degree One of the most common reasons people decide not to pursue a degree is time management. Many people look at their full-time jobs and family life and think "I don't have a minute to spare!" While you may be busy, Western Governor's online university is designed to allow students to manage their lives and studies effectively. Below are some tips to help you on your way to earning an online degree. You may have more time than you think!

Make time for yourself. You may be thinking, "Easier said than done," but a little alone time can go a long way. One of the benefits of attending an online university is the flexibility, so take advantage of it! Ask your family for a designated amount of peace and quiet each day, then retreat to your home office and make them honor it. This tactic will give you the structure you need to stick to a study schedule, and it will help your family support you along the way.

Work smarter, not harder. Think about your daily routine and look for ways to save time. If you cook dinner for your family every night, try finding recipes to bake or broil instead of stove-top dishes that require constant attention. Use the time you would have spent with a spatula in hand to work on your online degree. Similarly, group your errands into one trip rather than three or four outings throughout the week. Stop by the grocery store, bank, dry cleaners, etc. on Monday and use the time you save on Tuesday and Wednesday to catch up on school work.

Change your habits. Many people feel the impulse to crash on the sofa the moment they come home from work. While a break is necessary on especially rough days, try coming home and immediately putting yourself in student mode. Chances are that your brain is still active from your day job activities, and it will be easier to stay motivated if you save your downtime for later in the evening.

Incorporate your studies.  Ask yourself this question as you are going about your day: "Could I use this time to study?" The right mindset is imperative in achieving any goal, especially an online degree. Get in the mindset of using once-passive time as online university time. If you frequent the gym, bring your work with you to review while on the elliptical machine or treadmill. If your children are involved in after-school activities, find a spot on the bleachers to study or while sitting in your car waiting for soccer practice to end.

You don’t have to sacrifice your daily routine in order to earn an online degree. Using your time more efficiently will ensure that you can do both. Small changes can have a large impact on your life, especially when it comes to furthering your education. Your long-term career is important to you, so work on making short-term changes now to facilitate your future goals.

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