Proper management of our time can be described as using skills and techniques to manage time in order to complete a designated task or goal. Time is a valuable thing, it should not be wasted. One needs to be very careful how they use their time. Adult learners have unique difficulties with time management due to other important aspects of their lives, which require much time and attention; some of these aspects may include family, a home, and full time employment. However, with a little organization and better time management skills, the adult learner can find more free time for family and reduce the stress in their personal lives.
One important aspect of adult learning is study goals in order to help focus ones time and energy. Use a calendar to keep track of all class work and personal obligations. Often a personal organizer is best, something like a palm or blackberry. Do not forget to schedule in some break time and be sure to take them. Study goals should begin with large, long term goals. Start with a year plan and work down from there. Continue to break down the year into semesters, then months, weeks, down to the days. (Karr, M. & Siebert, A. 008) Create a daily to do list to be sure one completes everything.
Always study in a specific place that works well for the individual learner where one is comfortable and be sure there is good lighting. Remember distant learning can be more difficult, so do not fall behind. Work hard to reduce noise distractions while studying. Some examples may be television, children, and anything else that may cause one’s mind to drift. Often, a studying student will benefit from a low white noise in the back ground to help drowned out other noises.
It is recommended for students that are working full time to take no more than two classes at a time. For every hour in class, the student will need two to three hours for homework. (Karr, M. & Siebert, A. 2008) One aspect that is very important when working a job and taking classes is being able to adjust your school work load during busy work times. For example, if a student works in a retail job setting, one should lighten their school load during the Christmas holiday season. A student should be aware of their learning style before beginning college courses (Steinbach, R. 000).
For example, if a student is a visual learner they need to see information in order to learn it. They learn through seeing. This type of student enjoys maps, charts, graphs and diagrams. They take detailed notes and benefit from power point presentations and videos. On the other hand, if a student is an auditory learner they will benefit more from lectures, lessons, and discussions. This type of learner rarely takes notes and often reads aloud in order to comprehend the information (Siebert, A. & Karr, M. 2008).
Keeping the stress out of one’s life is another important aspect of being an adult learner. It is important that the student understands how to separate regular life events and activities and school work. This can be a very hard balance to find, but if done correctly it can reduce the stress of going back to school tremendously. Remember to keep on track with your schedule and do not procrastinate by putting things off until the last minute. Doing this can cause unwanted stress and may possibly effect your grade.
Something else the student can do to keep stress under control is to set aside some time to do the things most enjoyable to them. Include ones family and friends, and this can double as family time. Social life and family time are another area that needs to be kept under control while attending school as an adult. The student needs to be open and honest with the family regarding the time commitment and the help that will be needed as one travels down this road. It may take six months to a year before ones family has truly adjusted to the student and the schedule (Smelser, L. Ph. D 2009).
The student must be very specific in asking for help and support and do not forget to say thank you to those that do help. If the student has children, consider including them in a study session and always reserve special time for them each week, remember quality is better than quantity. As an adult student it is easy to get caught up in the activities of the day and overwhelmed with the responsibilities of a job, children, spouse, and a home. Remember, one needs to take care of their bodies and minds in order to be a successful student. One important aspect is to continue to eat right.
Do not skip meals or rely on sugar and caffeine to get you through your day. Healthy, small meals throughout the day will keep your energy level up and your brain active. Also, do not underestimate the need for sleep, the temptation will be there, but ultimately this is one of the worst things a person can do. Exercise is another activity that is important but often over looked. Exercise can reduce stress and strengthen muscles. “The more sensory systems and muscles involved in learning, the faster you learn and more you retain. ” (Siebert, A. & Karr, M. 2008).
There are some study tips that a student should take into consideration when taking college courses as an adult. It is important that the student learns how to increase studying efficiency, comprehension, and one’s ability to remember. For example, this can be done with a chapter review. The first step would be to skim through the chapter objectives or questions, then continue to look for the chapter summary. Second, read through the chapter and turn titles, subtitles, and highlighted terms into a question form. Now is the time to read the chapter, but read it fast.
Next, right a summary in your own words and finally, recite what you remember out loud. In conclusion, a student needs to keep their stress to a minimum, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and learn to delegate other responsibilities out to family and friends when the need arises. The busy student should allow some personal time doing things enjoyed most. Always maintain a support system of friends, family and classmates, one never can tell when a favor will be needed. Of course, keep an open line of communication with the instructors for the college as well.