You serve in the military, and active duty already fills your work day. But you want to embark on a journey to earn a degree (or finally complete your degree) and the only realistic option for you is distance learning. You’re wondering to yourself: can I actually do my job and get this degree while still on active duty? The answer is yes. It is possible and many others have done it. But it will take a great amount of self-discipline in order to accomplish this.
You will need to manage your time seriously in order to balance the three areas of your life that call for your attention: work, family and hobbies. This calls for a few suggested tips on time management for military personnel earning their online degrees.
Use Dead Time
You will have blocks of free time available every now and then. Instead of using it for leisure activities, use it to do advance reading or participate in your online discussions. The idea is to inject your coursework into whatever free time you are given.
Clarify Your Goals
You won’t accomplish anything without goals. Aim for concrete objectives by specific dates. This is where lists and calendars come in. Make a list of your objectives and their due dates for each week. Review your calendar and your goals on a weekly basis, in order to stay on top of everything.
Prioritize the Urgent
You will have deadlines left and right once you’re working toward that online degree and you need to figure out what should be worked on right now. Only you can decide what needs to be done ASAP and what can be relegated to a later date. Concentrate on the urgent, on those things that have an immoveable deadline, and postpone the less urgent tasks until you’re ready to worry about them.
One problem that students face when getting their degree online is the absence of teachers reminding them about submission dates and project deadlines. It’s always easy to procrastinate, put things off, and then forget about them completely. Hence discipline is necessary. Know how much time you have to accomplish a project and budget your time so that you do a little coursework every day. Make it a habit to sit at the computer and do chunks of a project at a time.
Eliminate All Distractions
Finally, if you’re doing your coursework or listening to a lecture, get off the social media channels and log out of your email accounts. Twitter, Facebook and Gmail are great tools in and of themselves, but only serve as distractions when deeper analytical thought and writing is needed. Keep track of your work with a timer, or use a plugin on your browser to limit usage of social media and web surfing.