Going back to school is such a unique experience. Even more so with online learning, when your couch is your classroom. Time management suddenly becomes a far more important skill, as you try to balance your life while pursuing your education.
The biggest difference between online and on-campus programs is that your schedule becomes your own to figure out. Many online learners—especially new ones—struggle with balancing their school, home and family responsibilities. This is doubly true for military spouses coping with deployment.
A great way to keep yourself organized is to use your weekends to your best advantage. Take the time to prepare for the week’s morning rituals and plan your time for evenings after school and work. Set yourself up for a successful week.
If you are diligent, organized and follow these tips, you’ll keep your sanity intact and begin to enjoy it.
Wash The Wardrobe
Save yourself the headache of looking for something for you and the kids to wear during the week. Use the weekend to catch up on your laundry and pick your outfits. Anyone who runs a household knows this entails far more than throwing the clothes in the washer and separating light from dark.
Laundry involves planning outfits for you and your kids, and similar organization and planning tasks. Start in the morning; get this one out of the way. If you have a large household or go through laundry quickly, plan a second evening during the week to take care of emergency laundry. Scheduling in some time for this is a great idea, just in case.
Change Your Sheets
For a better week, change your sheets. Keep an extra pair of bed sheets on hand in order to start the week with fresh linens on your bed. You will feel more enticed to go to bed earlier, and it will help you sleep better once you’re there. Make sure to wash the removed sheets in warm water to freshen up and have ready for next weekend.
Kick The Can
Grab a laundry basket and garbage bag; Make your way around the house. Empty trash cans into the garbage bag. Quickly straighten up each room. Use the laundry basket to collect items that do not belong and return them to their original home as you pass through the room. Have a dust rag on hand so that you can quickly dust as you go. Wipe down your kitchen counters and bathroom.
Stock The Shelves
Scan the fridge and start your grocery list. This is a great time to plan out your meals for the week. Put together the elements of meals in containers so you can quickly throw them together as needed. This can save precious time for your studies later on.
Fun and relaxation are vital to the human psyche. Spending too much time and focus on work will build stress and you will be less effective at work and school. While you go about your business and plan for the week, do not forget to nurture those social relationships. Catch up with friends and family to prevent them from falling by the wayside when things get crazy.
Make sure your family know you love them. Give your siblings, parents or friends a call. Put aside a few hours for coffee or a movie. You will find that spending time socializing and nurturing your personal relationships is vital to keeping your stress levels down.
Reading and Homework
When you have covered all of your weekly tasks, take a few moments to read or catch up on your schoolwork. You can take some time at night with a cup of tea to do your homework, or get ahead a few chapters in the text. Getting a head start on your schoolwork will make scheduling your time during the week much smoother and easier to manage.
Make Your Weekends Work For You
The earlier you get started, the sooner you will complete your tasks. You will find that your stress levels drop drastically, and you may have more time than you realized. Time management will go from panic and reactionary to calm and prepared. Your schoolwork will improve, as will your social relationships. All it takes is a little determination and follow through.
Also try reading:
Secret to Creating Your Own Success
What Every New Military Spouse Needs To Know
5 Tips For Military Moms Going Back-to-School
Military Spouses- Your Time Is Valuable, Invest It Wisely
Weekend Reboot For Better Online Learning
Military Parents Experience New Model For College Education