Managing Time As an Adult Learner
Time – do you ever feel you don’t have enough time to fit everything into your day? Do you ever wonder how others manage to fit everything into their day – school, work, family, and friends? Maybe you’re not alone… Life is hard and becomes even harder as people develop into adults. This is why excellent time management skills are a must – especially for the adult learner!
The adult learner has many challenges they face every day from schooling, to work, to making sure they have enough time available in their day for friends and most importantly their family. Often times, the adult learner will give up and drop out of college because they cannot keep up with working long hours as well as the massive amount of school work from day to day – the average worker in America is working more hours than ever before. They often feel in order to support their family they have to let college go. A college degree is extremely important in this day and age; however, while attending college many adults realize that it does not pay the bills. This is unfortunate as many adults will fail to excel in their careers without the degree behind them. Life is hard – especially for the adult learner.
For those that push through and continue to work and attend school, they often find it is a daily struggle to keep their grades up so they can make the required satisfaction of progress. The adult learner in most cases does not have the advantage of staying at home as the younger learner may have so they can focus only on their education. This makes learning even more complicated for the adult learner.
It is especially hard when they have a family to care for and household responsibilities too. Many adult learners will feel they are neglecting their family and other obligations so they may choose to put their education on hold while their children are growing up. Their friends may not understand why they are unable to do the things they did before and their social life may struggle because of their schooling as well. All of these situations make it incredibly difficult for the adult learner. It becomes a balancing act to make sure they do not become overstressed, overworked, or overloaded – so how do they manage it all?
There are many things that contribute to the success of an adult learner. These ideas also help any person currently in any learning environment. Many adults find mastering these skills tremendously improve academic success. If the adult learner feels they have no time available as it is – time management skills are a must. It is critical that adults who are in a learning environment focus on every minute in their day and find ways to improve the free time they have available even if the time is limited.
Most people now would be thinking to themselves, “There is nothing in my life I can cut – I’m maxed out!” How many adults spend hours sitting in front of the television – people are surprised when they truly evaluate the time spent mindlessly watching movies, ESPN, etc. It is important to have time to unwind and relax; but when the adult learner is trying to fit an education in with an already busy lifestyle, they must evaluate which areas they can adjust. If they don’t find a lot of time is wasted watching television, perhaps they spend a lot of time playing video games or doing other activities – if their education is important they may want to cut these things for the time being.
The question is – is the adult learner willing to make these sacrifices? If so, they will need to sit back and decide what is important in their life and which activities they can let go – for now. It helps if they can make a list of how much time they spend doing these different activities and then figure out where they can manage their time more efficiently. No two adult learners are exactly alike. Only they will know the schedule they are currently keeping and which areas they are willing to adjust so they will be able to finish their degree. If an education is truly important to them – the adult learner will find a way.
While getting rid of events in their life that are hoarding precious time, there are other things the adult learner can do in order to get the most out of the time they have available. The adult learner must improve their study skills. By improving study skills they can spend more time with their family and friends. Most would prefer reading a book one time while increasing their comprehension of the content instead of reading it several times because they do not remember what it is they read. Most people would like to read it only once or maybe a few times -in order to do that you have to maximize your study skills. By doing this, they will improve the time they have available to enjoy other things in their lives.
One of the most important ways the adult learner can improve their skills is to make sure they always take exceptional notes of the material studied; it often helps to use different colors while highlighting to separate key points, make index cards with questions on the front and answers placed on the back. This way the adult learner can practice them while on the go. They can then study while at a baseball game, waiting in line to see the doctor, etc. This will take full advantage of the time they have available in a day. It is little things like this that will have a huge impact on time management.
It is also critical the adult learner always engages in their learning environment whether online or not. They may view the discussions pointless or forum posts as only taking away more time from their already busy schedule, but this will increase their comprehension on the topic they are studying. So it is important they take full advantage of them! They are there and available for a reason.
When the adult learner is feeling overloaded, stressed and wanting to just throw in the towel – it is imperative they stop and take a break. It is very important to take time to reenergize your mind and body while seeking an education. When taking a break it often helps to enhance memory because you can concentrate more effectively. This will also allow you to spend less time studying. If people study when they are exhausted their mind will not function appropriately in order to retain the information – having to read it again is not helping the adult learner manage their time more efficiently. So, they must make the most out of every study session scheduled. It is also essential to only study when alert and there are no distractions around so they can fully focus on the information in front of them.
Schooling can be incredibly taxing for the adult learner – but is the end result worth it? The adult learner must always keep their mind set on the goal. They must stay positive and believe that anything is possible if they set their mind to it. Adults graduate all the time – so it is conceivable and if they believe they can finish, they will. Many attending college these days are older adults; it helps to remember that you’re not alone.
A support chain is particularly important. The adult learner should seek the help and support of their husband/wife, family members, and even their employer. They need to ask for help when necessary. Perhaps their husband/wife can help with chores around the house, run errands, or help with the kids so the college student can spend a set amount of time each week studying. Maybe a family member could even pick up their kids from practice/school a few times a week.
The adult learners who are employed while attending school could communicate with their superior the desire to work out a more appealing schedule that works for the business as well as for the student. This way they could focus their schooling more appropriately around the new schedule – this may help them manage their time more efficiently as well. Many employers will even help pay for an employee’s academic studies, so they need to make sure to utilize all the help available. Employers want educated employees and in most cases will work with the student so all involved are happy.
The truth is every day people adjust their time in order to do things they love. When somebody really wants something – they make it work. If they don’t – they will probably give up. When the adult learner wants it bad enough, they will find ways to make the most out of every situation. It is obvious the adult learner struggles to balance everything in their life; this is why time management for the adult learner is a critical skill to have. It is extremely important the adult learner utilizes ways to enhance their learning strategies – so they can maximize the time they spend on their education, and also have a strong support chain that will encourage them continuously. In doing this, they will have more time available for the things they love to do the most and be a lot happier in the process while achieving academic success.