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Back to School: How to Fit Night School into Your Schedule


Going back to school can be a challenge no matter where you are in life. Fitting night school into your schedule on top of working, raising children and attending to your other commitments can be particularly difficult. You can best fit night school into your daily schedule by paying close attention to how you spend all of your time and trimming your tasks down.

Step 1: Review Your Schedule

Perform a time audit that is realistic. Time management professionals recommend that before an attempt is made to add to an already hectic schedule, address how time is managed. Make a list of how you spend your entire day. It should include breaks, travel and meals. Try to eliminate activities or tasks that can be done in time chunks rather than spread out.

Step 2: Adjust Your Schedule

If you typically go shopping on two different days, try to do it on one day and try to find stores that are close together. Adjust how you spend your time by reorganizing it. When you are finished, you will probably find that there is enough time to fit an evening night school schedule into your day.

Step 3: Prioritize Tasks

Make a to-do list that makes sense for you. Try doing this at the end of every day so that you are motivated to keep up with it. Use a calendar, daily or weekly schedule to track tasks. Make a list of must-dos and keep it separate from extra tasks that could be done at any time. Use an expanding file with dates on it to put reminders for time sensitive tasks. Put advance tasks on a desk calendar and put a back up sheet in the expanding calendar. Try new systems and adapt them to your needs. By doing this, you can also eliminate wasted time by focusing on what is most important.

Step 4: Use Waiting Time Effectively

There are various times of the day when we are forced to wait while someone else does something that is connected to us. For example, we wait in line at the store, at the doctor's office, on the bus or train. Part of what could be difficult about fitting night school into your day is the homework that you will have to do. Waiting time is a great way to get some of that done.

Step 5: Always Carry Assignments

Take any reading and other work assignments with you so that wherever you are, you can read. Have a pen, small pad and post-its with you so that you can make notes as needed. Lunch time and other enforced breaks are also other good times to take advantage of for studying.

Step 6: Manage TV and Phone Time

It is inevitable that you will want to catch up on the news or other guilty TV pleasures or talk on the phone each day. During this time, try to organize your day; fold laundry, clean and do other menial tasks that don't require much concentration. Make lists, sort your mail, go over the next day's schedule, check email and do other small tasks that must be done.

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