If you’re studying at a college or university, or even still in high school, time management can be an incredibly tricky process. Your social life is buzzing, and you may be working a part-time job. Sometimes it seems there just isn’t enough time to get everything done.
But there’s one group of students who tend to consistently handle time management better than their peers, even though they have the most to balance. Students who have children, as shown in a recent Times Delphic article, often perform quite well in the classroom, and I think it’s worth looking at a few reasons why.
Such parents have plenty of pressures, both positive and negative, that come from balancing home life with school life. And you've got your own. By looking at how parents are often forced to handle their time, I think we can find a few hidden principles you can use to improve your own time management strategy (and grades).
1. Identify motivators. When you have children, their needs come first in almost any decision you’re going to make. Student-parents know that by doing well in school, they will be able to earn more money and provide a better home for their kids.
You’ll need to find your own motivators. If you plan to have kids someday, think about what you will want for them. Otherwise, make the connections between your grades and your broader goals, whether it’s getting to travel the world or moving on to law school.
Parents have their motivation physically in front of them every day, so it’s important that you try to remind yourself of your motivators as often as possible.
2. Fight for study time. This is obvious, but important. If you think you’re busy now, imagine what it would be like trying to raise another human being while doing everything that’s on your list.
Parents who are students are forced to prioritize their study time whenever they can fit it in, and you should be just as vigilant in carving out the time to do your own work. This means knowing when to say no to something that’s fun if it’s going to get in the way of what’s important.
3. Invest in yourself. This goes right with motivation. People who have children understand that they are building a future. As their sons and daughters quickly grow and learn, the parents are aware that the actions they take today will impact what will be possible tomorrow.
When everything around you is encouraging you to live in the moment, try to stop and consider how your actions will affect what’s ahead. And take the extra volunteer opportunity, internship, or summer class that can help you in the future.
Photo by Tulane PR.