Tips for Balancing School and Caregiving

June 28, 2014 | By | Reply More
  1. Define Your Schedule and Plan Ahead
    Having a well-defined schedule is the easiest way to stay on top of your commitments when you’ve got a lot going on. It’s also important to plan for the unexpected.“Plan, plan and then plan,” suggests Dr. Sharon Lamm-Hartman, a life and executive coach and author of “Overachiever’s Anonymous Book.” She suggests planning your day, your week and your month. Because you have so many intersecting things going on, you need to plan time for your job, your school, your family and yourself. She also recommends planning “white space”, the things you don’t yet know about. Then do your best to stick to the plan.
  2. Cluster Your Commitments
    Being a caregiver is a great job for students because it is so flexible. Families are always looking for after-school sitters, summer nannies, part-time in-home care, etc. Look for class times and work opportunities that allow you to group commitments and focus on what’s most important at the moment.
  3. Focus on the Moment
    When you have a lot going on, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and jump from task to task — never really getting anything done.
  4. Use Time Gaps Wisely
    Finding time to complete class reading or handle small projects for your employer can be one of the most challenging aspects of a crammed schedule. Ullrich recommends making the most of these windows. Read or work on a paper while the kids that you’re babysitting are napping or at soccer practice. Apply for jobs or handle invoicing when you’ve got time between classes.
  5. Manage Expectations With Open Communication
    The more open you are with your employers about your schedule needs, the happier everyone will be. For example, if you need to go right to class after work, let your employer know you’re unable to stay late.“Family conferences and meetings with work colleagues can really help manage expectations,” says Dr. Lamm-Hartman. Your responsibilities and availability may vary from week to week and month to month based on work and school schedules. Open communication will keep everyone on the same page and avoid issues like having to back out of a job last-minute and leaving your employer hanging.
  6. Take Time for Yourself
    Balance isn’t just about finding enough hours in the day to attend class, finish your homework and handle your caregiving duties. It’s about prioritizing some time to do things for yourself or spend time with people you love. 

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