myUsearch blog

Honest college information — choose, apply, get into and pay for college.

How Can a Working Parent Find Time for School?

January 25, 2008 By: Category: Family balance, Family balance

If you have children, especially small children, you probably find it hard to find time to go to a movie or get your hair cut, never mind studying or writing papers. So how do working parents manage it?

If you’re balancing school, work and family, you need to move beyond getting organized—you need to maximize your productivity. This is the new watchword for the 21st century, as we try to get more and more done with less and less time. The productivity approach is perfect for the student parent.

Here are a couple of ideas from David Allen’s groundbreaking productivity book, Getting Things Done. (If you’ve got more on your plate than you can handle, this book is required reading.) These tips can help you lay the groundwork for a more organized, productive life–not just in your return to college but in your career and home life to follow.

Group tasks by context
One of the worst time-killers is doing 10 tasks separately when you could bundle them and do them all together. To be more productive, you’ve got to group your tasks so you can do them in batches.

Find a dry cleaner near your kids’ daycare (even better, use the daycare associated with your school—one less stop to make!). Get your oil changed in the same mini-mall where you pick up cat foo. And if you need to make a phone call, go ahead and get four more out of the way while you’re at it.

To make the most of this technique, you’ll need to group your to-do lists by what David Allen calls “context.” That just means dividing tasks according to where you need to be to do them. For example, you might keep one list for everything to do while you’re in your car running errands, and a separate list for all the personal tasks you’ll do at your computer. The right number of contexts for you will depend on your individual needs and habits.

Before you know it, keeping these “context lists” will be second nature, and you’ll routinely save hours every week.

Document the next action you need to take on every project
If you need snow tires, don’t put “get snow tires” on your list. Instead, figure out the very next action you’re going to take—maybe “ask Karen about the cheap tire place.”

Everything on your to-do list needs to be a concrete, manageable action you can take, not a large, amorphous project that you don’t quite know how to start.

Here’s a hint: if anything on your to-do list feels overwhelming, you haven’t figured the true next action out yet.

Your next action item for getting your applications in might be, “Call admissions specialist” or “email Dr. Roberts for letter of recommendation.” When your to-do list is made of smaller, more manageable actions, you’ll find yourself getting a lot more done. These small steps quickly turn into significant progress toward the big stuff.

Keep a “project” list separate from your “next action” list
In Getting Things Done lingo, a “project” is anything that needs more than one next action. Getting an MBA is a project, and so is finding a new occasional babysitter.

You need to look at your “next action” lists every day to keep things moving forward, but project lists just need a weekly review.

If you have a project that you don’t know the next action for, sit down and puzzle it out until you do. You can’t move forward on a project until you know the next action.

And if you have a project that stubbornly refuses to reveal its next action, it might be a candidate for a “someday/maybe” list.

Create a “someday/maybe” list
Let’s face it, the year you go back to school probably isn’t the year you’re also going to take salsa dancing lessons, perfect your scrapbooking technique or start a blog. You don’t have to lose those dreams—just create somewhere to park them for a little while.

A “someday/maybe” list lets you move these projects off of your daily list, which means you’ll experience less frustration and stress as you see those items every day without acting on them.

Review your project list regularly—every week is best. Use a ruthless eye. If there’s a project on your list that you can’t commit to working on now, move it to someday/maybe for the time being. This liberates a huge amount of emotional energy that you’ll be able to spend on higher-priority projects. And you’ll probably find that “someday/maybe” comes sooner than you think.

Getting even more things done
Don’t stop with these four tips! The Getting Things Done book walks you through these concepts and several more key pieces to the productivity puzzle. Once you’ve implemented the system in your life, you won’t know how you lived without it.

Spend some time creating a productivity system as your first step in returning to school. It will free up the time and energy you need to balance, school, work and family life.

Learn more about Getting Things Done:

  • 43 Folders. Merlin Mann’s excellent site on using Getting Things Done to . . . well, get things done
  • 43 Folders forum. A companion discussion board on how to be more productive
  • Lifehacker. One of the most popular sites on the Web for GTD tips and tricks
  • The David Allen Forum. Good productivity forums run by the David Allen Company

  • shri krishna 3gp
  • driver marvell 88w8335
  • trend micro imss 7.0
  • vixen go get it download
  • ultimo show do exaltasamba
  • hp scanjet 8350 driver xp
  • dj maza funky dj
  • download vodafone busy tone
  • smith micro stuffit deluxe 2010
  • download phoenix wright ringtone
  • hijackthis for windows xp
  • telecurso ingles gratis
  • mp3 shirdi ke sai baba
  • download capitolo one piece 628
  • download software crs per windows
  • download boxer script font
  • agricultural simulator 2009 free
  • driver hp scanjet g2410
  • download project 64 1.7 55
  • 2face idibia ihe neme video
  • arun sharma quantitative aptitude soney
  • dao 3.5 windows 7
  • clownfish for oovoo download
  • nanosuit 2 video download
  • naruto shippuden episode 199
  • fallout new vegas mac
  • download free lac viet mtd 2009
  • runescape mining bot free
  • bob generation lost
  • download game top eleven for android
  • download gregory and the hawk album
  • download filme invictus dublado avi
  • download eminem rehab album
  • hindi poem for kids video
  • download tomorrow when the war began ebook
  • download ms projects 2010
  • aplicativo download video youtube android
  • download chicken invaders 4 free trial
  • download once were warriors movie free
  • download emptiness by rohan rathore songs pk
  • edup ed 1296 xp driver download
  • ntoskrnl.exe for windows xp
  • download baawre luck by chance
  • prema kavali movie links
  • nux youtube downloader app
  • morning glory soundtrack
  • all the right moves one republic
  • gilligan's island theme mp3
  • flat out free mac
  • download jika ten2five mp3
  • download soulja boy 50 cent
  • duman konser albA?mA? 2011 download
  • edirol ua 25ex driver mac
  • maximum speed lte
  • neal n nikki songs download free
  • download the press corpse
  • avan ivan video songs free
  • download eyes wide shut jls free
  • genuine windows 7 home premium 64 bit
  • mumbai local train timetable on mobile
  • v humse hai life songs
  • new vegas nexus manager
  • download alaska state song mp3
  • sfgame hack chomikuj
  • serebro ?????? ?NZ?? 1080p download
  • download hypersonic plugin for fl studio
  • kendrick lamar swimming pool song
  • wrong on itunes
  • download museum of bellas artes
  • free tiptoe through the tulips
  • okariki okaru songs
  • tumi ki sara dibe mila
  • download nascar 2002 demo
  • download buku hijab tutorial
  • download auto tele diablo 2
  • download sid rain mp3
  • download love hina advance
  • chrome quicktime movie
  • z ro the mule download
  • game rpg hay
  • lg voyager drivers
  • java gratis 64 bit
  • cyanogenmod 9 droid 3
  • download noor e khuda song free
  • eyedea big shot mp3
  • digital the secret world
  • download chinna chinna roja poove song
  • blaupunkt travelpilot dx r70
  • diablo 3 demon hunter trailer
  • download tees maar khan album
  • hi def video download
  • internet protocol tcp ip
  • driver epson lq 2180 win xp
  • download gi i joe dublado
  • diablo 2 lod client
  • dispatch gut the van download
  • jeeves and wooster season 2
  • download hetalia world series 39
  • a thousand miles zippy
  • wifey walk out mp3 download
  • rehab welcome home mp3
  • map footmen frenzy
  • download kesha tears in my eyes
  • kaleidagraph download full version
  • jeux nintendo 64
  • snaptu for blackberry 8900
  • download ???????? N?N?N???N????? ?????N????
  • scanjet 3500c software download
  • playerpro music player apk free
  • maxthon for mac
  • lanterna verde online
  • andaikan blink mp3
  • reading comprehension bible
  • download oracle driver ojdbc6.jar
  • raja songs free telugu mp3
  • download applied nonparametric statistical methods
  • fantastic four movie free
  • noc u sibiru mp3 download
  • webster dictionary foodnetwork
  • aa ante amalapuram ringtone free
  • unbreak my heart remix download
  • download mac os pocket leopard
  • download java 7 jdk mac
  • dreamscene for windows 7
  • asus tf101 update download
  • need for speed world windows xp
  • download gulabi ankhen by atif aslam unplugged
  • duke nukem hrp
  • download everybody knew mp3
  • sufjan stevens discography
  • free lagu puing kenangan ungu
  • heroes bowie mp3
  • yu yu hakusho 5 temporada download
  • robots vs zombies 2
  • snap n go
  • z ro one two
  • free priyathama neevachata kusalama song
  • league legends client
  • 3d shooters no
  • driver printer hp d1560 free
  • bt home hub 3 limit
  • download autocad windows 8
  • download after effects 5.5 trial
  • wednesday 13 bad things download
  • the 2nd law
  • english vinglish songs telugu
  • j aime la vie
  • sql express 2012 download
  • download abre los ojos
  • round the world in eighty days
  • free adobe cs 8
  • download flurry screensaver for windows
  • itunes 10.5 beta 6 download windows
  • la bruja de la cosquilla
  • spider solitaire windows 7
  • download gary clark jr worry no more
  • emptiness download video mp4
  • download raj thakre mp3
  • download mp3 ryan cabrera photo
  • download samantha cute photos
  • scanner qr code
  • cage of eden volume 1
  • download singapore visa for indians
  • justin bieber first dance
  • tieng bim bip mp3
  • fast surfing internet browser
  • no delay .grf ragnarok
  • download dmasiv sudahi perih ini mp3
  • download waka flocka party
  • free k lite new version
  • psp 1000 themes
  • download de la un pahar in sus
  • wonderland online game