My first article was about returning to school as an adult and creating space for your new passion – your studies. Today’s blog, part two, focuses on creating TIME for your classes, studying and homework on top of your regular and busy schedule.
Yet, if you’re in school again, whether for work or for enhancing your whole life, then changes are afoot. The schooling will lead you to something, be sure of it.
Develop a passion for learning.
If you do, you will never cease to grow.
~Anthony J. D’Angelo~
How to work school into your existing schedule.
Your time “in” class: How fixed is the class schedule? Are you physically attending or virtually? And is there a class time or do you sign on for classes on your own schedule? And how much time does this take up? Add in travel time if you’re attending at the school.
>>Block this time into your calendar. If you don’t currently have a calendar, school will make life more complicated, so now’s the time to start using one.
>>If your classes are virtual, this complete flexibility with when to “attend” class is challenging. Start by choosing one night a week to become your class night. If necessary, alternate the evening at each semester or quarter change.
This will help you instill study habits and make the rest of your life’s schedule much easier to manage; you won’t have a moving target to deal with. If you live with others, this makes it easier for them to understand when your time is your own, as well.
Your time spent on homework, papers and exams: For each class, review the syllabus for two main scheduling answers:
- How often do you have homework?
- When are exams and papers due?
>>Keep track how long homework takes just for week one. Designate a study time. Protect it by blocking it on your calendar.
>>Exams and papers: Research, reading or note-writing time; actual studying or writing time; taking the exam; or editing and proofing your paper.
Different kinds of time. Different environments. Different sorts of thinking. Plan on several sessions, each with a different focus, to make the best use of your time and your brain.
>>Again, block these into your calendar. If you have “Write paper” blocked out on your weekend calendar, when something comes up, you’ll make a very conscious choice about priorities.
Habits: By using a calendar, and reminders if you work well with those, you’ll instill habits sooner because you’ll be following a fairly regular pattern of working in schoolwork.
And the reminders – whether visual or auditory – will support you in making this a habit.
Habits eventually become routines; routines keep the rest of our lives calmer and saner, so we can deal with changes more easily. So we have choices and aren’t pushed into something because we simply ran out of time.
Think about other habits you’ve built up on your own. How do you DO that? Whatever that answer is will help you with making school a priority and creating time for it.
Choices you make or choices made for you; which would you prefer?
Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.
Anyone who keeps learning stays young.
The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.