Part three of an eight part series, Karen’s Corner outlines advice and insight on going back to school from our very own Dr. Karen Whitham, assistant dean, undergraduate nursing programs.
Chances are your life is already very full. In addition to working full-time, you have your family and friends, plus the routine chores of daily life: you know, shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, bills and so on. Let’s not forget that you also need time to relax, stay fit and enjoy life. So how on earth will you find time for everything?
Keep a calendar
The no-fail recipe for enjoying life in the RN to BSN program is to keep a calendar. You’ll need to carve out 10 to 15 hours per week for class work. Start by blocking out time for your daily priorities on a weekly calendar, planning as many weeks as possible. Enter your work schedule, family time, study time, personal time, etc. Next, add the important events that you simply can’t miss: school events for your children, weddings, family reunions, birthday parties, etc.
Use the calendar
The whole purpose of keeping a calendar is to make better choices on how to use your discretionary time. So before you accept an invitation from a friend, glance at your schedule for that week, as well as the following weeks, to determine if you can accept the invitation without compromising something else that may be more important to you. Managing your time is just like managing your money: you have to know how much you can spend after the bills have been paid.
Be proactive and work ahead
The farther out you plan, the easier it is to carve out time for the things that matter most to you. Each RN to BSN class is eight weeks in length, so go ahead and enter every deadline and project due date into your calendar. This allows you to work ahead of schedule if you want to make time to attend a wedding or some other important event. When you know that your “must do’s” are covered, you can enjoy your free time with confidence and peace of mind.
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