WORK-LIFE BALANCE / DEC. 02, 2014
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5 tips to Help Balance Family Life and Education Effectively

Fulfilling your education commitments can take a great toll on your family life, especially if you are undertaking a degree in addition to holding down a job. Whilst it is important to focus on developing yourself and being in the best position possible to provide for you and your family, you don’t want to spend so much time studying that your home life suffers as a result.

Featured below are five top tips to help you achieve the perfect balance between your family life and education.

#1 Create a timetable

With this we don’t mean that you need to sit down and create a spreadsheet so that your family understands when you are available to speak to them. Simply make sure that you set aside a set amount of time each day to focus on your education so that you have time to spend with your family. However, if you like the idea of creating something a bit more concrete, here is a great guide on how to create a timetable.

As an example, say you have a part-time job and work Monday to Wednesday, then Thursday and Friday, you have to go to university to study; you still have Saturday and Sunday free. You might need to do some coursework during the day on Saturday, so set aside the evening and Sunday to spend time with your family.

If you get into a good routine of when you need to work and when you should be spending time with your family, you’ll find it much easier to juggle everything.

#2 Understand that sometimes conflict is unavoidable

Even if you create the best timetable in the world, sometimes things are just unavoidable and your schedule can be disrupted, especially if you are studying for a part-time degree and an unexpected deadline suddenly emerges.

Communication is key, so make sure that if you think you are going to have to work over the weekend, that you let your family and friends know. They will want you to get the best grades possible, and if you have stuck to your timetable and made time for them recently, they will understand.

#3 Limit distractions and time wasters

Your time is precious at the moment; you have to juggle education, family life and possibly even a job. You’ll be forgiven for getting distracted at times, but, it is essential that you limit these as much as possible.

You’ll find yourself falling behind schedule extremely quickly if the latest documentary distracts you when you should be studying. As a knock-on effect, your family life or education will suffer and you’ll find yourself rushing to meet deadlines.

It’s important to have time to yourself and unwind, but just make sure you schedule it in, so your other responsibilities don’t suffer.

#4 Spend time with your partner

Remember that your partner is the person who will always be by your side, so it is important that you make time to be together. Think about organising monthly date nights where just the two of you go out together and have a good time.

By making sure that you have a set time each month that you know is date night, you’ll be able to ensure that your studies don’t get in the way of spending quality time with your partner, because you’ll be able to plan your workload accordingly.

#5 Eat with the family

Make an effort to eat dinner with your family; it’s a good 30 minutes of quality time together. If you come in late and they have already eaten, try and enjoy a light snack with them in front of the television.

You don’t have to take it too seriously and make it a family bonding session; just being able to communicate about everyone’s day is enough. The time you spend at the dinner table or in front of the television with your family can rapidly become one of the highlights of your day.

Your education is important and it will help you to provide a better standard of living for your family in the future, but, don’t forget to spend time with your loved ones, after all, they are the ones who will stand by you through thick and thin.

 

Image source: iStock

 

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