Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tips for those returning to school - part one

For those of you who have been out of school for awhile, here are some suggestions to help you balance school, work, family, and the rest of life.

A space of your own. Carve out a space at home, a desk or work area where you can leave your materials, so that you know where everything is, and can resume work without having to reorganize.

Determine an overall work schedule as to which days/evenings you will do homework and which you will not. Be intentional about carving out work time, rather than imagining you’ll fit it in when you have time. And this leads us to….

Take something off your plate. By committing to this program you are taking on significant work that also requires time to think and reflect. Now is the time to make a shift: ask for help with responsibilities at home, put a hobby aside, say “no” to additional commitments, etc. You don’t need to give it all up, but something has to give, temporarily, to make room for this new gig.

Do something, anything, even when you think you can’t. Even though you have carved out your work times, there will be plenty of days/evenings when you had planned to work and feel too tired or distracted or whatever. Do something! Read the most accessible chapter, read half a chapter… do something, anything to get even a little work done and keep the momentum going.

Get to know your rhythm and honor it! Observe yourself in your first few weeks… what time of day/week do you most effectively read, reflect, write, work online? Get to know when you are at your best for the various kinds of work and then work strategically in those times. If you notice that you write best in the morning and read best in evening, honor that, and so on. Also, how long can you effectively read or write and what kinds of breaks best keep you going? Figure this out and do it.

Part two later this week!

All the best,


1 comment:

  1. These are great tips - I'm sending this link to my students! :-)


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