10 time management tips for adult learners

Juggle work, family and other activities with school

If you are juggling the roles of a parent, student and employee, you might be worried about how to survive summer and prepare for fall classes. Use these 10 tips to make the most out of your limited free time.

1. Make lists. Even if you can’t get everything checked off that day, just writing it down can be a proactive step. Use apps such as Evernote, Cozi and Todoist—find the best one for your device, tech know-how and your budget—that sync with multiple devices to make sure no tasks or appointments slip through the cracks.

2. Prioritize. Note your school and work deadlines on a calendar. Arrange other tasks around these high-priority items.

3. Integrate activities. For example, take your children to an event at the library or plan a playdate while you study or complete preparations for fall classes.

4. Set goals. Assign a realistic deadline to each project (such as tasks to get ready for fall classes or projects related to your coursework), and consider breaking them down into smaller tasks.

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5. Be realistic. Look over your schedule thoroughly and be honest about whether or not you can complete another task before saying “yes”. Mastering this now will save you stress in the fall.

6. Cut out time-wasting activities. For example, avoid reading emails throughout the day by turning off the notifications on your phone. Pick a time—or a couple of times a day—to check them all at once.

7. Be prepared. Always carry your schoolwork with you and study when you happen to have downtime.

8. Ask your kids for help. Use the summer break to teach children additional household chores so that it’s not a shock when fall arrives and your class schedule and school work kick in.

9. Give yourself wiggle room. If you are prepared by planning ahead, it can be easier to change your schedule when something unexpected happens, such as sickness or additional work tasks.

10. Regroup. Take a few moments to review tasks you have or have not accomplished. Decide what you did well and what can be improved—and possibly save you time in the future.

Sources: The College Board, University of Georgia, Florida Gulf Coast University

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