Pursuing your MBA is something that will help to secure your future. Getting a formal education is by far one of the best things you can do to open career doors, prepare you with the skills and knowledge you need to be marketable in the workforce, and ensure you’re ready to tackle those mid to high-level positions.
With that said, the actual motions of going through an MBA programme while trying to juggle all your personal commitments and responsibilities can prove to be a bit much. It can feel as though you’re being pulled in many directions at once, which means you can’t give any one item your full attention. Rather than allowing yourself to get to that point, it’s wise to start sharpening your time management skills now. And here’s the thing, time management can prove to be one of the most useful skills you possess even in your career.
But exactly how do you sharpen your time management skills? Take a look at these tips and ideas.
Choose an Online MBA Programme
One of the best ways to combat that feeling of having “not enough time to get things done” is to make your schedule less harried. Part of the problem with attending an MBA programme is just that – you need to get to class at those designated times. That may not necessarily work with your schedule, and it can lead to long commutes to and from campus. As online universities stress to their prospective MBA students, this is where an online school can really shine.
Some of the more notable benefits in choosing an online MBA programme include:
- Programmes tend to work around your schedule rather than the other way around
- Many schools offer 100% of the courses in an online setting, so there is no need to ever attend the campus
- All course materials are found online
- You have access to an online support network so you don’t have to feel like you’re on your own
- Both individual and group projects are done in an online setting
- Today’s online MBA programmes are highly regarded by potential employers
This is just scraping the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many benefits of an online MBA programme. It can literally transform the way you think about student life.
Create a Realistic Schedule
Another time management tip is to create a schedule that you can frame your day around. Now, you may feel tempted to load that schedule, filling each and every waking minute of the day, but chances are, things will fall apart. When creating your schedule, it needs to be realistic, otherwise it will become a source of stress and won’t help you in the least.
Some tips for creating a realistic schedule are:
- Learn to prioritise so you know what should be on the schedule
- Schedule in time for the “other necessities” in your day such as eating meals, a bit of physical activity/exercise, and even downtime
- Expect the schedule to be fluid at times with changes necessary
- Try to get as much done as possible during your most productive time of day (morning people vs night people)
- Start creating your schedule one week in advance so you can get a better idea of the big picture
Visit Aston University Online for more useful time-saving tips for MBA students.
Don’t Be Afraid to Set Goals
For some people, the time they spend as an MBA student can feel like a state of inaction. Sure, you are getting your degree, but you aren’t actually in your dream job yet, so you aren’t at the point of pursuing those goals. That doesn’t mean you can’t set goals. In fact, setting goals is a wonderful way to keep your time management in check and ensure you’re hitting all the milestones along the way.
If you don’t feel comfortable setting long-term goals during this time, then set your focus on short-term goals instead. Some areas you may want to set goals in can include:
- Getting a great mark on a particular class or even a particular project
- Personal health goals so you get into the habit of healthy lifestyle choices
- Landing a part-time job to help pay for schooling and other expenses
- Making sure you have free time so you can socialise with friends and family and stay connected
The beautiful thing about short-term goals is that they can cover anything and everything, and allow many celebrations along the way as you achieve them.
Learn How to Prioritise Like a Pro
Learning how to prioritise isn’t something that will just help you with your studies in this moment; it’s a time management skill that will spill over into all aspects of your life now and moving forward. Even when you graduate from your MBA programme, and you find yourself out in the workforce, knowing how to effectively prioritise can help you to be more productive in your job and then help you climb the ladder faster.
So, how can you sharpen your prioritisation skills? There are a few steps to take:
- Make sure all tasks and responsibilities are in a central location
- Go through that list of items and place them in one of four categories: do, defer, delegate, or delete
- Ensure you are keeping the list up-to-date, adding in new tasks as they arise, and deleting items as they are completed
- Consider using an organiser or planner app to keep everything in one location
- Make a task list for each day, week, and month
- Ensure the important tasks always come first
These tips are great in that they can be applied to prioritising your MBA work and projects, your personal life, and then later on it can be used in your career.
Achieving a Balance is Possible
By using these tips and advice, you’ll find that juggling your MBA education and your personal life is possible and that you can actually excel in all areas when time management skills are used.