Time Management for Adult Learners: Balancing “I,” “We,” and “They” Name University 18 December 2011 Time Management for Adult Learners: Balancing “I,” “We,” and “They Many adults are increasingly returning to school, so that they can improve their knowledge, attitudes, and skills…
Women, in particular, despite notions and practices of gender equality in the modern world, still handle most of the homemaking and child care roles, thereby reducing time for their personal pursuits and feeling more stress when going back to school (Hall, 1994, p.7). This paper will provide tips on how adult learners can develop time management skills, which can ultimately result to better study skills. The first step is identifying problems in managing family, school, and work responsibilities that will crop up, when people are pursuing learning goals. It is important to become aware of these problems, so that adult learners can prepare a realistic process and system for resolving them (Hall, 1994, p.8). Communication with family members is critical in this phase. If married or cohabiting with someone, students should speak with their spouses/partners about their plans of studying and how they can make it work financially, socially, and psychologically. During this time, couples should discuss issues of redefining their roles and goals, as well as determining new expectations and work sharing responsibilities (Hall, 1994, p.14). For instance, this can mean that the male partner or husband should handle more child caring and household tasks than before. This also includes preparing children for future changes, so that they can also understand why their parent/s will be spending less time on them (Hall, 1994, p.8). Hall (1994) reminds adult learners: “The solution to managing multiple roles is not learning how to do it all efficiently, but how to do less more effectively” (p.14). The second step is simplifying household, caregiving, and studying tasks. Child care and household tasks occupy a great deal of time and energy of adult learners. Adult learners should find ways on how they can be shared more equally with other household members. Children, at the right age and with the right skills and attitudes, should be enlisted in doing more household work (Hall, 1994, p.17). This will prepare them for their future household responsibilities. A working adult student should remember the following, so that they can share household work more effectively with other family members: 1) all family members, who can help, should help each other; 2) everyone should know where things are; and 3) everyone must be responsible for returning things to their original places (Hall, 1994, p.17). These reminders ensure that will be more organization inside the house, which will both reduce cleaning/fixing time and stress. Thus, adult learners will have more free time to study or work on school assignments and projects. Third, adult learners should also communicate with their employers regarding their study goals. They may need to negotiate for a more flexible work schedule with employers, so that they can devote time to their classes and assignments. If the employer is supportive, he/she can provide concessions, such as letting the employee be absent for one day a week, as long as he/she can continue attaining work expectations. Problems will occur if the employer is not empathic toward the employee's learning needs, and so work roles and tasks overlap with school responsibilities. If this is the case, the adult learner should be prepared to either file for leave every month, or find other work arrangements. ...
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