If you missed our Orientation for Students with Family Responsibilities earlier this month, it was a plethora of information on how to manage your family, home, and school lives. Yours truly was a panellist and I learned a lot from Meghan Littlejohn from the Academic Success Centre on time management. Meghan advised to study a bit each day to keep on top of your classes. This is something I’ve been trying to maintain. I view my return to academia as the equivalent of working a full-time job. If I was able to work 40+ hours a week, get my first Associate’s degree while still breastfeeding my third child, I have time to be a full time student. It’s not going to be easy but like myself, there are thousands of “mature students” returning to university this Fall and we’re not alone in our journey. One of the things that I’m not good at is housework, but with the kids back at school, it’s slightly easier to maintain the house. By combining what I’ve found on Pinterest and from The Fly Lady, I decided to squeeze in a half hour of housecleaning a day, IN ADDITION to laundry and dishes. Keep in mind I’m not doing all the work, as my partner and I split housework really well. Also I delegate easy tasks to my children, putting away clothing, taking the trash to the curb, and drying dishes to name a few. Here is what I came up with for my current fall schedule: What I’m accomplishing here is an hour dedicated to each course six days a week, a ½ hour a day of housework, and laundry five days a week, all the while getting eight hours of sleep a night. Everyone else’s schedule is different and there are days where I will dedicate all study time to the course where a paper or project is due. For me it really helps me balance everything out. I do take my kids to swimming lessons, so I bring a book to read while waiting. I’ve also been known to take my laptop to the Laundromat and write a blog or research a paper. My favorite part is that I get to take a day off each week which I call my “defrag” day. I don’t allow myself to talk about school and just enjoy doing as close to nothing as I possibly can. Now I am no psychology major, but I feel if I think about school all the time it starts to get oppressive. Clearing my head for 24 hours is a great way to recharge for the upcoming week. If the colours are too intimidating you might want to make a list of what you need to accomplish each day. This is for the more laid back people, like my partner, who seem to abhor schedules. How do you schedule out your schoolwork and home life? Please comment below or send your schedules. I’d love to see them and share any tips on making our learning experience easier. If you need help making up your schedule in excel, you can download a free template like I did at Vertex42.