Tips on Time Management: How to Balance School and Life

Tips on Time Management: How to Balance School and Life

The online master’s degree program from CIA’s School of Graduate Studies is a great way to further your education without disrupting your life and job. Keeping up with your schoolwork on top of daily life activities can be a challenge, but with motivation and responsibility, time management is possible. Here are some simple strategies that will help you stay on track with deadlines, avoid procrastination and prevent missed assignments.

Tips on Time Management: How to Balance School and Life

Create Daily To-Do Lists

Writing a task list each day will give you direction, and it will make your time more productive and efficient. It’s also always rewarding to cross a completed task off your list! As a master’s student, it’s likely that your coursework will include a mix of short-term and long-term assignments. Writing down deadlines for each one and breaking longer-term assignments into tasks with their own deadlines can help you avoid beginning a major project at the last minute.

Develop a Schedule and Stick to It

Do you have more energy in the morning or the evening? If you find yourself losing steam after dinner, it can be tempting to forgo assignments for TV or family time. While you may not be able to control every aspect of your schedule, there are many parts you can control. You might prefer to write on the weekends but enjoy reading before your workday begins. CIA provides every student with a Microsoft package. Many students use Microsoft Outlook to keep track of their busy schedules, as it allows you to set reminders and deadlines and even spreadsheets to create and check off daily and weekly tasks. Check out the Library Learning Commons page on the student portal for a list of our favorite websites and tools for help with time management and organization.

Remove Distractions

Learn to use technology wisely. Most online class assignments require you to log-on to the internet to post comments, access reading materials, conduct research, or visit sites related to a course. But while technology serves as a valuable tool, it can also be distracting. So be sure to turn off access to other browsers and notifications when working so that your focus is solely on your course work for that period of time. On top of virtual distractions, location is important. Find a place that works for you, which might mean spending time at a local coffee shop rather than at your kitchen table.

Reward Yourself with Downtime and Revisit Activities You Enjoy

Finding time for non-academic activities and creating a school-life balance during the program can be difficult. It is important to keep your mind and body active during this time. Try your best to choose activities that encourage active thinking and movement. Netflix, social media, and screen time in general should be used in moderation. Schedule rewards for tasks completed. Pursuing a master’s degree doesn’t have to mean your life is all work and no play. It’s just as important to pencil in breaks, exercise and time with friends and family as it is to schedule time for studying.

There are some tried-and-true techniques that can help you master time management. Like any habit you develop, you can become better at it through practice, and if you need help don’t hesitate to reach out.

Jodi Amato, Director Academic Support

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