4 Ways to Manage Your Time as an MBA Student

It’s a Saturday morning and as the sun peeks through the blinds at 7am, I’m sitting here staring at my to-do list for the day. It’s overwhelming! As a Weekend Executive MBA student at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, my time has been limited. In fact, my time has become more and more precious.

My Saturday Morning To-Do List

  • Clean the house
  • Grocery shopping
  • Go to Home Depot
  • Team call to go over our assignments at 12pm
  • Call the security company to come fix the video camera that stopped working
  • Visit my Mom (I have to make time for this one!)
  • Study for our upcoming weekend of classes at Duke
  • Spend time with my husband
  • Workout
  • Me time…(last priority)

As I continue to write my list, I realize that my stress is beginning to build. How am I going to get all of this done in just one day? I can’t do any of this during the week, because I work full time and studying commences as soon as I get home from work. My husband has taken on a lot of my chores ever since I started the MBA program, so I don’t want to put much more on his shoulders.

Tip #1: Prioritize

What is the most important thing to get done today? Well, we are completely out of food, so grocery shopping, that’s #1. Okay, so what about everything else? The downside to prioritizing is the inevitability that you will have to let something or someone down. Whether it be your parent, your friends, coworkers or your boss, prioritization forces you to make that hard decision.

Tip #2: Schedule Your “Me Time”

Like any important meeting, many of us tend to put our “me time” last. If you find yourself not having time to relax for 30 minutes, schedule your “me time” just as you would an important meeting. Then, hold yourself to it!

Tip #3: Outsource!

When time is of the essence, it’s time to call for backup! It can be costly, so again prioritize what your biggest needs are and figure out what you can afford to outsource. Too busy to go to the grocery store and prep the meals for the week? Companies like Blue Apron and The Produce Box deliver food to your front door. Too busy to clean? Utilizing a cleaning person just once a week can be a big help. Personal assistants are also a great option to help you with those tasks that are time consuming (ie. scheduling appointments, grocery shopping, Home Depot errands).

Tip #4: Ask for Help

Often times, we are afraid to ask for help with fear of coming across as weak. But, while working full time and getting an MBA full time (many people also having children), asking for help can make a big difference. Whether it is your spouse, parents, coworker or a fellow classmate, these people can be wonderful support mechanisms when there’s just too much to juggle.

Moral of the story: Don’t attempt to climb the mountain alone. Know that you have a safety net of friends, family and coworkers to support you in the adventure of obtaining your MBA!

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