Balancing a Family, Full-Time Job and School

Balancing a Family, Full-Time Job and School

Where do we even begin?

Just the sound of each words makes me want to crumble. Having a full time job, being a parent and juggling school is a big challenge. How do we balance all of these yet still be successful in each important aspect of our lives. The only way we can achieve all of this and still achieve our goals, is if we learn a very important skill, time management.

There are only twenty-four hours in a day; we spend approximately eight hours maximum at work or approximately eight hours at school and are only left with about eight hours for family time, sleep, study time, etc. How can any one person do all these tasks on a daily basis given the time he or she has? Mastering time management is a useful and the most important tool one could ever have in balancing their daily life.

Here are some helpful tips to mastering time management.

  1. Prioritize– Make a daily or weekly list of your plans. Put things in order of most important to least important. Remember your family is always first. The bills have to be paid, so work is essential or other ways and plans of getting money. School is a must, after all the reason we go to school is to get a better job and to put us in a better position so we are able to help and better ourselves and families. A useful tip is to have good friends and keep up with your instructors in case you have to miss a class or have any emergencies to deal with, use online resources available to you from home to keep up with classes, example: Moodle. Have reliable co-workers that you can possibly switch schedules with sometimes in case you need to, and make absolute sure that you are in good position with your manager and he or she is nice enough to work out a schedule that works better for you. If you can get help at home, don’t ever refuse it, make use of it and take full advantage while it lasts. Remember, you have a plan and a goal set out to achieve.
  2. Plan– Planning is crucial. Always have a plan of what you are doing, why you are doing it and how you are going to do it. The plan is your goals and things you need to achieve. As best as possible, stick to your plan, and if you have to alter or change anything, make sure it’s for the better. Do not procrastinate.
  3. Patience– A word that touches deep into my heart and one that I personally struggle with, especially when I’m goal hungry, but I too have learnt that it’s not always best to rush into things. Take your time and work with your plan and what works for you. “The race is not for the swift, but who can endure.” “Great works are perform not by strength but by perseverance.”
  4. Persistence– No one says the road is going to be easy. It sure has its struggles but we have to persevere no matter what. Sometimes there is just not another option, not with children, minimum wage and all the other problems we can think about. There will be times however when we feel like we just can’t make it, or this is just a waste of time. Good things don’t just land on our laps, we have to work hard for them. Hard work brings success, and it is through some of our hardest times in life that we tend to throw in the towels and it is also that time in life that we are closest to our dreams, so do not give in or give up. Be steadfast and endure to the end.

After all is said and done, the key ingredients is balancing. You can have the greatest plans, dreams and aspirations, but living in a situation without good balancing, you can almost forget it. Try procrastinating and end up going to a party your friends invite you to. We have already learned that in one day, we don’t have enough time for our busy schedules, so wasting or doing other things that is not in our plan or that we don’t have time for can really hurt us. It is always better to look at the long term goal and the bigger picture. Partying and friends will always be there, time comes and goes, what you do with it and how you manage it is up to you, make the best choices for you. With more money coming in the future, partying and other things would not be an issue, sacrifice now, and party later.

Submitted by GPRC Student Ambassador, Shorna Cobourne.

Time Management Essentials

Time Management Essentials

Written by Kiana Pennington

“Time management” is a phrase heard over and over in college, and honestly, I cringe at the sound of those words. I wish time management were not as important as it is, but as a full-time student who also works a 20+ hour work week, time management is crucial.

As a returning student, I felt incredibly confident in my time management skills because I had learned the ins and outs in my first year – yet here I sit, at the end of the third week of classes, behind in all of my readings. So to quote my mother, “do as I say, and not as I do.”

To be successful, planning is essential:

  • Buy a day planner. Write down everything, including your Netflix time, you will not be able to remember all that needs to be done.
  • Be proactive, start assignments early to avoid that unhealthy, rip-your-hair-out deadline stress.
  • Take breaks. It has been incredibly helpful for myself to set a timer. 30 minutes of work, 5 minute Facebook break.

Your health is important:

  • Sleep – Sleep is so good. Sleep is so friendly. Sleep will never let you down.
  • Water – I am waiting for the day that the medical world comes out with a caffeine IV drip, but until then, drink a water between your many coffees.
  • Exercise – Remember that day planner? Pencil it in. Burn off that inevitable stress.

One of the last and most important things to learn is when to give up. There comes a point where your brain hits a wall, and the best way to fix it is to close your laptop, or your textbook. Do not cram, it is not helpful.

Just remember, if you did the work, it is impossible to fail. Have faith in yourself. At the end of the day, the biggest thing that I have to do is tell myself that I will be okay, regardless of whether or not I believe that statement. As important as time management is, attitude is even more so.

 Kiana Pennington is one of GPRC’s Education Ambassadors