7 time management tips for adult students

February 4, 2019

“I wish there was more time in a day,” mutters every adult student there ever was.

If you’re a working adult pursuing an online degree, you know the feeling of being pressed for time. Balancing your work, school, family, and general life responsibilities can be a tricky business.

While you can’t wave a magic wand to provide two extra hours before bedtime, here are some practical tips to help you manage your time and maximize your productivity.

1. Establish priorities

You can’t do everything in one day. Prioritize your to-do list by putting urgent tasks up top. Consider what projects are due, what reading needs to be done, which class discussions are coming up, etc. Make a list of your tasks, and then order them based on what needs to be done now and what can wait until later. You can do this daily or weekly – whatever you need to stay on track.

2. Say no

Coworkers headed to happy hour? Kid’s school looking for field trip volunteers? Next door neighbors having a BBQ? That all sounds super nice, but if those events are going to cut into your study, work, family, or self-care time: Just. Say. No. Nice-to-do but not-essential-to-do activities are going to have to take the back seat for now.

3. Know your best self

Are you a morning person? A night owl? Do you need complete peace and quiet to do your homework, or are you more comfortable in the buzz of a busy coffee shop? Knowing how and when you do your best work is essential for getting it done.

4. Turn wait times into work times

You never know when you’ll have a free 5 or 10 minutes. Always have your schoolwork with you in case you find yourself waiting an extra long time for the bus or if you arrive early to an appointment. Use these stolen moments to do some reading or prioritize your to-do list.

5. Sleep and stay healthy

Staying up late, skipping a workout, or eating fast food may all seem like good ways to get more done, but these unhealthy habits can catch up with you in a bad way. Being rested, eating well, and staying active will help you be more productive each day. They’re also great ways to reduce stress.

6. Make time for family and self-care

Like getting sleep and staying healthy, giving yourself time to reconnect with family or taking some “me time” to recharge can help you in the long run. Both activities release stress and help you be more productive afterwards. Plus, a nice massage or family fun day are great ways to reward yourself after completing a project or course.

7. Use time management apps

Need more time? There’s an app for that! Actually, several. Whether you need help prioritizing to-do lists, staying focused, or increasing your productivity, there’s a digital solution out there.

Like we said up top, there’s no magic solution here. It’s a cumulative process. Put all these tips together, and you’ll be maximizing your time and feeling more productive each day.

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