Studying amongst the trials of life I Oxford Open Learning

Studying amongst the trials of life

Overwhelmed by work, study and having a family? Read this.

How are you going to meet the demands of your crotchety boss? Will you be able to help your children with their homework? Is your relationship with your partner going to withstand the pressure? It’s easy to think that it’s all too much, and that however much you want to study, it is simply an impossible feat. Before you consign that course to the realm of a distant dream, however, take some time to get organised and think again.

The first and most important part of your plan is to plan out your time with military precision. Get a pen and piece of paper and divide your day into twenty or thirty minute segments. Allocate activities or rest into every segment of your day. The idea is not to work yourself into the ground, rather to make every minute productive so that you can meet your commitments without breaking a sweat. Allocate time for meals; time for work and study; time for your children and partner; and time to unwind.

It is absolutely essential to incorporate rest and relaxation into your day. Allow yourself at least two segments of your daily plan to read your favourite book, relax in a hot bath, or go for a long walk. It might seem self indulgent to take time out for yourself when you have so many work, family and study obligations to meet. However, your studies, work and those close to you will all benefit from you taking some ‘me’ time. You are no use to anyone if you are overworked, wound up and exhausted.

If you want to successfully juggle all your relationships, work for exams and cope with the demands of the office, it is essential to learn to delegate. If you’re a ‘yes’ person, the chances are that you often feel like you’re floundering under the weight of all your commitments. You need to force yourself to ask for help. Ask your partner to put the children to bed while you make a start on your studies. Tell your boss that you won’t be organising the Christmas party this year, and stick to your decision. Instruct your children to find ways of amusing themselves so that you can get on with things.

Juggling work, family and study can be difficult if you try to do everything at once and be all things to all people, only to end up berating yourself for failing. By planning your time, making a conscious effort to rest, and asking for help, you’ll stay sane and get everything done; and you’ll be able to give yourself a huge pat on the back when it comes to exam results day!

See more by

I'm a former English teacher and private tutor who is passionate about education. I've been writing professionally for the past three years and have written educational worksheets for use in schools as well as contributing to an educational journal. I've also written on every other topic under the sun!

Stay Connected