Learn How to Balance Life, School, Work and Family

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Juggling the demands of work and school can be challenging. Balancing assignments due along with work responsibility, along with a family life – and the variety of other commitments in your life – is a true exercise in time management. Throw in travel for work and you’ve certainly upped the ante even more.

We interviewed several students who went back to college mid-career on balancing work and school while traveling on behalf of their company.

Interview with Kerry Nordstrom-Bradley, Human Resource Certificate and Social and Behavioral Science Degree Graduate

How regularly do you have to travel for work?

I am in outside sales so I travel every day. I also went on vacations while in school and was able to post discussions while out of town.

For what company/organization do you work, and what is your role there?

I work for a food/candy manufacturer and my title is Outside Sales Manager.

How did you manage studying and completing assignments for school while working and traveling?

I had a laptop that I took with me, but if I could not receive a strong enough connection then I would use the hotel’s computer in their business office. While on a cruise I used the Internet Café to make the discussion posts that were necessary that week.

What tips or advice do you have for someone who travels for work who is considering going to school online?

Linfield’s program is one of the best and is very computer friendly. Plus the teachers are always available to help you or can get you back on track if you are not used to online classes. There are many resources available to use and even when working full time I didn’t feel pressured to get my assignments done as long as I used a calendar to remind myself of deadlines.

Interview with Mark Springer, RN to BSN Degree Student

How regularly do you have to travel for work?

The amount of time I travel varies, which can make planning difficult. I have had some weeks where I am gone just one day, but other weeks I am gone all five days. I usually travel around Oregon, but there are times where I travel across the country.

For what company/organization do you work, and what is your role there?

I work for a medical device company as a clinical representative. My role includes teaching physicians and nurses how to safely and effectively use our products. The teaching methods include one-on-one, group in-servicing, and formal events with many attendees. These events occur both during the day and into the late evenings. In addition to my teaching role, I am also a consultant to the surgeons and nurses who use our products. This means I am on-call day and night to both physicians and nurses who may request my expertise on particularly complex cases. In addition to the above roles and duties I also work very closely with hospital discharge planners to ensure a smooth continuum of care when the patient leaves the hospital with our device.

How did you manage studying and completing assignments for school while working and traveling?

This can be a difficult task for students who are traveling for work while attending school. I try really hard to complete the majority of my work by 9pm so the rest of the evening can be dedicated to schoolwork. I also to try pre-plan what tasks need completion and what I need to take with me to complete it. I usually have a secondary plan if my travel plans are extended, which includes bringing a few extra items to work on. Studying on airplanes or in airports seems to work ok, but I find the most productive time of the day is working in the evening at the hotel. That being said, working in hotel can be a challenge because many lack the necessary office equipment that we take for granted at home. I have managed to work around this in many cases by taking advantage of the office printing and supply stores that host all those conveniences. One positive note about working in a hotel is the lack of distraction. It’s much easier to become distracted at home, but truthfully, a pile of homework and a boring hotel can produce excellent results!

What tips or advice do you have for someone who travels for work who is considering going to school online?

I would suggest you take a look at your current work status and ask yourself if you are really serious about putting in extra effort after your work tasks are complete. Are you prepared to take on extra duties if your job requires it? If you work on a team and a teammate quits, are you ready to take on those tasks too? You have to set your priorities and limits before you start so when something unexpected happens you are well prepared. You also need to consult with your family. Traveling for work can be difficult on the family and it can be especially difficult to come home from a long work trip only to jump straight into schoolwork. The rewards of going to school can be wonderful as well. My employer recognizes the demands of my position and has been very pleased to see that despite this I have still managed to take advantage of their education assistance program. This has been viewed with such high regard that I was recently awarded a promotion.

Sally Alkazin has been teaching HR courses for Linfield College’s Division of Continuing Education for 13 years. She is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management and the American Society for Training and Development.

http://www.linfield.edu/dce/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Sally_Alkazin/684546
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Midterms, holiday breaks, and taking care of yourself

Stressed FroggyNovember and December bring more than cooler weather and the anticipation of fluffy snow. The fall and early winter months are among the most stressful for students as they prepare for midterms and finals while fighting the excitement of Thanksgiving and Christmas break. While studying and maintaining high grades is important, it is equally important that students put as much attention and care toward their well-being.

A healthy lifestyle is a good start.  This means eating right, getting enough sleep, and doing things that invigorate (i.e. take brisk walk, take a tub-soak break, socialize –not to be confused with partying!).

The Anxiety and Depression Association of American recommends:

  • Take a time-out
  • Eat well-balanced meals
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Exercise daily
  • Take deep breaths
  • Count to 10 slowly
  • Do your best
  • Accept that you cannot control everything
  • Welcome humor
  • Maintain a positive attitude
  • Get involved
  • Learn what triggers your anxiety
  • Talk to someone
  • Get help online

The full article includes an expanded discussion of each of the above points with recommendations on what you can do to reduce stress in your daily life. Whatever you are facing, never feel ashamed to ask for help… to admit you are human. After all, aren’t we all!

Additional reading:

Badger, Jordan L. and Morrell, Jesse, “The Relationship Between Healthy Lifestyle Factors and Perceived Stress among College Students” (2016). Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) Student Presentations. Paper 11. http://scholars.unh.edu/urc/11

“Tips to manage anxiety and stress” (2016), Anxiety and Depression Association of America. https://www.adaa.org/tips-manage-anxiety-and-stress