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The internet has made it possible for students, including business women who are returning to school, to attend courses and colleges all around the world. With a computer and internet connection, you can attend classes hundreds of miles away in real-time, otherwise known as distance learning.
That said, if you’re used to commuting to your classes, distance learning might be a little hard to adjust to. Before you know it, there’s no boundary between personal life, work, and studies.
Finding a healthy balance will help you become more focused on school and ensure that your work-life balance doesn’t suffer. And, as a plus, your mental wellness will improve. So, here are some easy tips for maintaining a health study, work, and life balance.
Create a Space for Your Classes and Studies
Set aside a well-lighted space for your online classes. An entire room is great if you have ample space. However, even a space within your living room where you can set up a desk is okay. The important thing is to ensure there is no clutter, distractions (like a direct window), or noise.
Ensure enough natural light is coming in and a power outlet is nearby. If you also work from home, this space can double as your workspace. Remember, don’t take your work or studies to bed.
Wake up Earlier and Prepare for Your Classes
You might be tempted to wake up a few minutes before your class since you don’t need to leave your home. However, give your online classes the same importance as any other class and take time to prepare for them:
- Wake up at least an hour before you’re supposed to go to the class;
- Take a shower and dress;
- Eat a healthy meal before starting to study;
- Be seated in your desk before the class begins.
Don’t attend the class in your pajamas. If you have extra time, go through what you’ll be covering in class for the day or what you learned in the previous lesson. With these tips, you’ll be focused in class and will need less time to study later.
Separate Personal Browsing Time from Class and Study Time
You’ll be using your computer a lot, and it’s easy to mix up personal and class time when browsing. If you set aside time to browse study-related information, stick to that, and make a separate time to browse other things. Setting clear boundaries when it comes to computer time will help you create a balance and stay disciplined.
Make a Weekly Schedule with Concrete Deadlines
Planning how you’ll use your time well in advance will give you little room to waste it or forget some tasks. At the beginning of each week, sit down and create a timetable. For example, you could set to your work and study time between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The hours between 5 and 10 p.m. can be personal time.
Once you’ve designated time for everything, stick to the plan. Don’t push your work or studies past your set hours. When you need to be productive, be productive, and when you need to rest, stop and rest.
Start Consciously Managing Your Time
According to a Greenfield Online survey, 48.8 percent of college students say they don’t have enough time for their coursework. Further, 88% of surveyed students said they wanted to improve their time management skills. If you’re working and studying, manage your time with the following tips:
- Make a daily to-do list based on your weekly schedule;
- Set clear deadlines for assignments, tasks, and studying;
- Prioritize urgent/important tasks;
- Check on how much time you waste in a day and utilize it better;
- Wake up early so you have enough hours in your day;
- Break down large assignments to smaller tasks and set deadlines for them.
Practice Saying No
People will demand a lot from you, and sometimes, you can’t deliver on things without damaging your balance. For instance, your boss may ask you to take a shift you hadn’t planned to at the last minute.
Going to work may mean you forgo your study sessions, skip a class, or cancel plans with your friends. While you can’t say no to everything, learn to decline things that will disorient you and the balance you’ve created.
Aim to Achieve Good – Not Perfect – Grades
Don’t be a perfectionist, especially when it comes to your academic goals. Aim for excellent performance but don’t expect straight As on everything. Demanding too much from yourself will make you direct all your time to studies to the detriment of everything else.
Remember, too much pressure over long periods affects your social life and your physical and mental health. Do your assignments well and always get essay editors to check out your final draft before submission. Begin studying for tests early so you don’t have too much stress at the last minute.
Keep Your Family and Friends in the Loop
This tip is especially important if you don’t live alone. If you’re sharing living space with family or a roommate, you may have to forego your plans often to accommodate them. So, it’s important to set clear boundaries about what time is for what early on. Ensure they’re aware of your schedule so they don’t interrupt you or get offended when you say no.
Take a Break if You Need to, Don’t Burn Yourself Out
The bottom line is that you are human, and you can only do so much. Even with a well-planned out work, life, and study plan, you may still get burned out. To make your healthy balance long-lasting, don’t deny yourself a break when you feel you need one.
Distance learning may sound all fun and no stress, but without a plan, discipline, and dedication, it may all amount to nothing. Follow these tips to find the balance between studies and your other life (work and personal). Remember, it’s very easy to become overwhelmed with all your responsibilities, and it’s okay to get help to manage your stress.