Many people miss out on the opportunity, because they do not believe that they can continue to financially support themselves and their families while going to school. This article will provide you with helpful tips on how to keep your paycheck while earning your advanced degree!
Consider Online Degree Programs
Online degree programs offer a more flexible and affordable learning environment. In most programs, you will have deadlines, but you can complete the work for them at your own pace. You can work from anywhere, so there is no travel time to factor in. Online degree programs are more cost effective, not because they compromise quality of education, but because there are no institutions to maintain.
Time Management is Key
Regardless of the degree program you choose, putting a little bit of effort into sharpening your time management skills goes a long way towards ensuring that you keep your paycheck while going to school! Here are some helpful tips:
- Make and use to-do lists. Whether you are technologically inclined and set electronic reminders, or prefer the old school pen and paper, to-do lists are essential. It keeps you on track, relieves the mental tension of trying to hold too much information in your head, and the satisfaction of checking off items boosts your motivation, which boosts your productivity.
- Create and stick to a visual schedule. Plan out every moment of every day. Start with the things that cannot budge, like your work schedule and any family obligations. Then block out time for your homework (enough to accomplish it properly), and then treat that as if it is just as set in stone as the other obligations! Use color coding, different fonts, pictures, or whatever else makes it visually easy for you to understand. Again, this is something that you can do electronically or on paper! Set a timer during your designated homework block, turn off the TV, and put away all distractions.
- Share your to-do lists with your friends and family. Make them visible to every member of your daily life. Get them on board to honor your needs and help keep you accountable to them!
Organize Your Materials
If you will be doing the majority of your school work at home, set up a workstation with everything you need. Work to keep it organized so that you don’t lose time searching for things. If you will be doing any amount of your work outside the home, keep a bag packed with all necessary materials, and always store it in the same place. Consistency saves time and keeps your motivation high.
Balance Acceptance and Hopefulness
Accept that while you are earning your degree, you will have less free time. Whenever you feel frustrated, remind yourself why you are doing it! Put up pictures and motivational quotes that remind you of this anywhere you look often…screensavers and wallpapers on electronic devices, mirrors, cars, closets, refrigerator, to name a few! Build up some free time by finding other pockets of time to get some work done, like when you are using public transportation, riding in someone else’s vehicle, or waiting for an appointment.
The success you dream of is within your reach. If you follow these steps and ask your loved ones to support you, you do not have to give up your current paycheck in order to work your way to an even bigger one!
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