One of the major advantages of home study is you can receive your education at the times most convenient for you. By choosing home study instead of live classes, you can still work at your practice full time and then use your time off to study for your continuing education credits. However, with this freedom comes responsibility.

Since you’ll be in charge of making time for studying, you’ll have to find a way to fit it in with all of your other responsibilities—work, family, social life, self-care. And since there’s no one keeping track or monitoring how much effort you put into your home study, it’s easy for your study time to be shortchanged by all of your other obligations. This can not only lead to a poor quality education, but it can also make home study seem like a real drag when it’s supposed to be convenient and easy.

One of the best ways to take control of your schedule and balance your day-to-day tasks with your home education responsibilities is to develop good time-management skills. Time management makes time work for you, instead of the other way around. Moreover, it makes self-discipline a lot easier, because you’ll always know exactly what you should be doing. Ultimately, by learning how to effectively schedule all of your responsibilities, you’re likely to find that you have more time than you ever imagined. This will not only be a boost to your home study efforts, but it can make most of the other aspects of your life easier and more enjoyable.

This is the first of two articles that will provide you with helpful tips to enhance your time-management skills. Read through the following tips below, and then check back next week to read the final tips in the series.

Tips for effective time management

  • Use a short “to-do” list each day, which lists all of your major tasks for the day. As you finish each task, cross it off the list, and move on to the next one until you’ve completed them all. Don’t list every single detail of the day—only the big responsibilities—and then use your extra time to take care of the little things.
  • Make your to-do list the night before. At the end of each day, write up your to-do list for tomorrow and then place it with your keys or purse, so you don’t forget it. 
  • Schedule your studies for the time of day when you’re most attentive. If you’re a morning person, make time to study before work. If you’re a night owl, then use your down time in the evening to study. This will make studying much less of a chore.
  • Schedule tasks you find the most difficult first, so you won’t be dreading those tasks all day.
  • Break up large tasks into smaller ones to increase your organization and also so you don’t feel so overwhelmed by a big project. 

Check back next week for the rest of the time-management tips in part two of the article.

Chris Towery is the former associate editor of MASSAGE Magazine and is currently a full-time freelance journalist. He has written hundreds of articles for more than 20 different magazines, newspapers and custom publishers. Much of his recent writing has been for the complementary and alternative health-care industry. To contact Towery, e-mail cmreuben@yahoo.com.

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