How to Manage Work, Study, Kids

If you’re juggling work, study and parenting, all at once, chances are you may be finding it hard to manage these three competing priorities. While it’s important to continue your career progression as well as develop your educational qualifications, it can be a little overwhelming attempting to meet your parental obligations at the same time. And how can you possibly squeeze in time to yourself for socialising and exercising, on top of all these other responsibilities?  By planning ahead, incorporating support, and being flexible, you can still achieve success in all areas!  If you aren’t sure how to go about this, consider the following tips:

1. Find your work/life balance

What does work/life balance look like to you? Start by listing all of your parenting responsibilities and study commitments for the next three months. Then gain a clearer understanding of how you can best manage your time by breaking months down into weeks and days. Next you can proceed to set up a realistic plan or schedule.

2. Work out your schedule

If you have a full or part time job, you already know what your work schedule looks like. Your study schedule can be worked out in more detail once you have your syllabus. Highlight in your diary any exams or assignment due dates so you can set aside study or writing time in the lead up. If you do this in advance, you’ll also be able to organise babysitters if necessary or negotiate parenting duties with your partner.

3. An Accessible Family Calendar

If your family is big and very busy, a calendar everyone can access to record their own activities might be helpful in managing conflicting schedules. Stationary shops sell wall calendars with sections designed for each family member to fill out. Some even have stickers your kids might find fun to use! If your family prefers using devices such as lap-tops, phones or iPads, here are also free Apps that can be downloaded with features that include to-do lists and reminder notices.

4. Be flexible

If your family is big and very busy, a calendar everyone can access to record their own activities might be helpful in managing conflicting schedules. Stationary shops sell wall calendars with sections designed for each family member to fill out. Some even have stickers your kids might find fun to use! If your family prefers using devices such as lap-tops, phones or iPads, here are also free Apps that can be downloaded with features that include to-do lists and reminder notices.

5. Use time-savers

It is amazing how much daily chores or activities can rob you of time, such as house cleaning, food shopping, meal preparation, driving and chauffeuring the kids here and there.  Afford yourself the luxury of hiring a house cleaner – sure, this might chew up some discretionary spending but will save you a few hours a week when you could be studying instead. Choose public transport over driving to work – you can travel and study at the same time.

6. Enlist support

What are family and friends for? They are there to support you when life gets overwhelming, so don’t hesitate to ring the kids’ grandparents to babysit, offer your kids some spending money to do the chores, or negotiate with your partner to help out with parenting responsibilities. Ask your instructor for support with a study-related matter or utilise social media to organise a study group with classmates.

7. Study alongside your kids

You can combine two priorities at once by setting aside time to study alongside your children while they do their homework, if they are school-aged. This is also your opportunity to role model being disciplined!

8. Don't skip downtime

You have to be careful not to run yourself into the ground because you’ve got too much on your plate. You don’t want to sabotage your goals by overburdening yourself or running the risk of becoming ill in the lead up to an exam. Don’t skip your favourite TV show or feel guilty taking time out to read a novel or accepting an invitation to attend a yoga class with a friend – downtime and exercise is essential to your overall health and wellbeing and will recharge your batteries so you have more energy to burn.

9. Utilise your Springfree

Send your kids outside to take turns jumping on their Springfree - they can entertain themselves while you study for your exam! 

We at Springfree wish you success on your professional, educational and personal journey managing work, study and kids!

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