Many students who enroll in an online degree program are working parents and busy individuals who are adding school into the mix of everyday life. Most have busy households that must continue to be run whether they are in school or not. Life goes on in the world of these non-traditional students.
With the demands of work, family and life, it can be difficult to find the place and time required to be successful in school. We have provided several tips for finding your student niche in a busy household.
Establish a routine
This strategy is crucial for success, especially in a busy household. Establishing a routine will help you and your family get used to the fact that studying is a major part of your life. It is important for appointments and other meetings to be scheduled around the set time you have created for studying.
Take advantage of time
If you have time on a Saturday afternoon while the kids are off playing at their friend’s house, then by all means, take advantage of the time. If you are able to carve out a three hour block of time, take advantage of the 30 extra minutes you have in the morning to quietly read before work.
Negotiate with the family
Give the family members an incentive for allowing you some peace and quiet to get some work done. Offer to take them all to the park or out for ice cream if they are quiet and respect the time you need to get your work done. A reward system offers a great incentive, young and old. Your spouse may be more inclined to hold down the fort if you promise to take her to her favorite restaurant, kid-free, Friday night.
Don’t answer the phone
This one requires some discipline because when the phone rings, our first instinct is to answer it. You may need to put your phone on silent or leave it in another room under a pillow so that you are sure to not answer it when it rings.
Create your own space
One of the most important tips for successful studying for any student is to have their own space dedicated to studies. This is a quiet place that is free from distractions and interruptions. If studying at home, the place should be devoted exclusively to your studies.
You want a place that is away from the business of the household, like a den or home office. You also want the area to be free from your everyday work. This is especially important if you work from home. If you are unable to access a private room in the house, block off an area in the living room or work at the dining room table when the kids go to bed. The key is for the area to be quiet and workable.
It can be difficult to find the perfect quiet place in the home, but it is not impossible. Before long your family will become accustomed to the new routine and respect the new schedule.