Are you an entrepreneur who has made the huge decision to go back to school to gain more knowledge about your business? Have you made the decision that studying online is the best option for you, as the schedule allows you to still go about your everyday life and responsibilities without having to attend a campus and classes in person? While that may sound fantastic, and it’s definitely a huge step forward from a career perspective, it doesn’t mean that studying at home earning a diploma or degree is going to be a cakewalk – especially with kids in the mix.
On any given day of the week, it’s normal to feel stretched thin trying to be a business owner, while balancing life with your kids while also dealing with other responsibilities and commitments. So how do you add studying to the list? Before you start to spiral too much and get lost in anxiety, here’s a look at some very effective tips that will help you as a business owner and still be able to study at home.
Speak to Your Family About Your Schooling
As long as your children are old enough to understand, it’s important to start by speaking to them about your schooling plans. Let them know what you are doing, why, and how it will change yours and their future when you graduate. Not only will this help them to understand when you are busy studying, but it can also act as a teachable moment about the importance of a higher education.
Don’t be afraid to go into detail about your schooling, for example, maybe the DNP FNP programs available through Baylor University online is what interests you, explain this to the kids and why you’ve chosen this career path.
Now that you’ve spoken to the kids, it’s time to speak to the other people in your support system, which could be close friends and family members. Again, you want to let them know your plans so you can lean on them for support when needed.
Get your partner or spouse on board. If you are a single parent but have a cordial relationship with your children’s other parent, it can also be a good idea to talk to them and at least give them a heads up that you are working towards a degree or diploma, and you will be studying at home. It just helps to keep everyone on the same page.
Do You Need Childcare?
This could also be a great time to examine the pros and cons of putting your kids in childcare so you can study. Here’s a brief look at some of the basics.
- It allows you to focus completely on studying and working on your business
- It can help you to get your work done faster and smoother thanks to the focus
- It keeps kids busy and entertained elsewhere
- It is a dependable option wherein you don’t have to keep securing babysitting each week
- You don’t have to feel as though you are “ignoring” the kids while you study
- Childcare or babysitting can get really expensive
- Kids aren’t always receptive to it
- You may start to feel as though the kids aren’t around enough
It really comes down to what works for you personally, what works for your budget, and how childcare would impact your ability to study.
It’s Time to Create a Schedule
Now that you’ve spoken to all the people in your life about your plans, it’s time to create a schedule that works for you, your studies, and your family. This can be really tricky as you want to be sure everyone gets a fair amount of time.
Some tips you can keep in mind include:
- Remember that you can’t pack in your day full of chores, errands, and responsibilities; there needs to be a little leeway built into the schedule
- Learn to say no to things you know will stretch you too thin and that you just can’t fit in
- Don’t feel bad scheduling time for yourself where you can relax and unwind
- Don’t live by the schedule, nothing has to be set in stone, and sometimes flexibility is needed
- If you don’t like writing a schedule down on a physical calendar, you can use an app or the calendar on your smartphone
- Start getting into the habit of planning ahead rather than just creating a daily schedule
Make Use of the Quiet Hours in the Day
Many adult students find that the best times of day to study are early in the morning before everyone is up to start their day, or in the evening after the kids go to bed. Either of these times gives you peace and quiet, but it also allows you to focus only on your studies as there is nothing the kids need from you at this time.
If you decide mornings are better for you, here are some tips you can use:
- Set the alarm 10-15 minutes earlier than you need. It’s normal to feel sluggish and get off to a slow start so you’ll want to build that into your wakeup time.
- Get into the habit of eating breakfast as it will fuel your brain and your body. If you find it hard to eat actual food so early in the day, give smoothies a try.
- Layout all your school supplies and equipment the night before so you’re ready to go in the morning.
- Learn to embrace everything a quiet morning has to offer.
If you decide you’d do better in the evenings once the kids have gone to bed, then here are some tips you can use:
- Make sure you have healthy snacks on-hand to keep you fueled and stay hydrated by drinking water.
- Take away any and all distractions that may take focus away from your studies.
- Don’t push yourself too late if it means you won’t get enough sleep as a result.
- Make sure you are all set up and ready to get studying, with the tools and equipment you need.
- Ensure you have a good work station with ample lighting.
Becoming Your Best Professional Self
By following these tips, you’ll be able to study from home, follow your career dreams, and set yourself up for success.
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