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How can someone balance their job, their education, and their family?

How should someone manage their work hours to allow enough time to keep up with their education but also have enough time remaining to spend with their family?

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Katie’s Answer

This is a hard one! It's hard and it's impossible to always get it right. I always think about impact, connection, and contribution:
* What is the impact of this choice? Where can I have the most impact right now?
* Connection: quality is more important than quantity. Where am I creating deeper connection - with family, with my coworkers, with my classmates, etc?
* Contribution: Does this task need to be perfect, or is 80% done good enough? Remember: It takes 20% of the time to get to 80% done, and the remaining 80% of the time for the remaining 20%

Any time you're feeling stuck or frustrated, ask yourself: What do I really want? How important is this and how is it going to help me with my goals?

And remember, it's important to take care of yourself too - to care for your body, your mental health and joy, and feeling centered and grounded.
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Tammy’s Answer

The fact that you are even asking this question is already a good sign! You’re thinking about balance and how to best take care of yourself, your future and your current needs. Way to go! Balancing all of life’s demands of work and family are hard enough and when you add going to college into that mix it can make things really tough. Remember that there are seasons for everything and when you’re in the middle of the semester, school might have to be your first priority which means that you may have to go part time at work or say no to certain family activities. During the summer is an excellent time to work extra hours and to save money and to set aside some time to do extra things with family. During the semester it might be helpful to set one night a week for a family dinner/activity and try to manage your schedule Around that. Talk with your family upfront about your commitment to your studies so that when you have to say no to something to prioritize college, they will understand. And remember that getting a college degree is a season in and of itself. It sounds like four years is a long time but it goes by quick and temporary sacrifices now will set you up for long-term success later. Your family will understand that! Once you graduate and start working in your professional, you will discover a new work life balance. Set boundaries right away and stick to them. Be honest with yourself and others about where your priorities need to lie. Of course there are exceptions to every rule but just don’t make the exceptions the habit.
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Andrea’s Answer

Working full time and having family responsibilities and going to school is not easy and will take a lot of commitment. What worked best for me was to have a plan and stick to it. Let your family know of your plan too and try your hardest not to let them guilt you into breaking your plan. (That was the hardest for me)
Since the day was taken by work, I only had the evening and weekends to juggle school and home. I chose to do school online completely so I had that flexibility I needed. That helped with my plan of planning.
Each week I would look ahead to find out what was going on with home life. I then scheduled when I would spend time on school. If it was a busy week with home life, sometimes I would have to decide if I had to forgo some home life things. If not, I knew I would have to either stay up later than normal or wake up early to get things done.
Either way, it is important to tell everyone in your home life of your plans.
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Laura’s Answer

As a mother of 6 and a full time executive - this is a question I get all the time from the people I mentor. First of all - you absolutely can do it! You can have a fulfilling career, take care of your health and well-being, and be in dynamic and great relationships. Here is my advice - and what I do:

1 - Health and well being comes first. Meditate - hugely impactful. Drink lots of water. Make exercise a priority (I exercise at least 1 hour a day) - and make it something you love. Don't love running? don't do it! Walk, do yoga, play basketball, swim, find a friend and take up tennis. Be conscious of your food - you literally ARE what you eat. How could you be anything else?
2 - Set clear boundaries at work and communicate with your supervisor/boss. When you're at work - BE at work. Work hard. Exceed expectations. Don't do personal things when you're working. Appreciate your co-workers. Be known as someone who responds quickly, gets answers, takes care of issues, and works well with others.
3 - Then when you're off work - DON'T work!! Be with your friends and your family and your kiddos. Laugh and play and have fun and relax.

note: When kids are little that is the toughest - or it was for me - having to leave work on the spur of the moment because your child has a fever at daycare, or having a kindergarten play to go to in the middle of the day (why do schools do that??), or having a parent/teacher conference. These are all things that happen to all human beings - and if you communicate clearly, and are a thoughtful and hard-working employee, your supervisor will understand. Share these responsibilities with your partner/spouse and support each other's careers and career choices. It doesn't last forever and everyone understands that you're a parent first....and an employee second.
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