Many Evening and Weekend MBA students understand very well that being a member of the Booth community comes with sacrifice. Whether it means spending less time at the gym or less time with family, we are all giving up something important to attend class. To contrast with our friends in the Full-Time program, we have at least fourteen hours of class work each week, in addition to full-time jobs and Booth extracurricular activities we engage in. With all of this on our shoulders, excellent time management is necessary to both keep us organized and sane. We each have different techniques for balancing our schedule. However you do it, this article should help you with some useful pointers from your peers.
Tip #1: Prioritize Tasks Every Day
It may not be the most natural or exciting task to do, but it is especially important to plan out our days and prioritize what needs to get done. “If I start to think about what I need to do by the end of the week, I usually freak myself out. When things pile up, it helps to just focus on the next 24 hours,” notes Karen Sanchez (’18). Whether by creating to-do lists or setting notifications on our Google Calendars, we all can benefit from optimizing our days to make sure we don’t fall behind in the classroom and the office.
Tip #2: Review the Syllabus Ahead of Time
Back in undergrad, many of us - myself included - would forget about midterms until the week of and neglect to study until the night before. While we could manage that lifestyle because the opportunity cost to pulling an all-nighter studying was often a frat party or Netflix binge, we have more pressing priorities in our lives today. Knowing this, Vijay Rajan (’18) makes sure to map out key assignment and exam days as soon as he has access to the syllabus. With busy days in the office and constant travel for work, noting big school events months in advance helps him to best arrange his work schedule accordingly.
Tip #3: Keep Your Friends, Family, and Co-workers in the Loop
Starting up at Booth isn’t only a change of pace for each of us, it also affects those around us. During the quarter, we might not be able to attend every company Happy Hour or catch mom up on every little detail about our lives, but it’s important that we give those in our lives realistic expectations. Antonia Lee (‘18) makes sure to give her friends and family plenty of notice on the days/weeks that she might be off the grid. Everyone that we’re close to understands that we’re “busy”, but unless they’ve known others doing Booth part-time, it will be hard for them to completely relate unless we provide insight.
Tip #4: Do Something for Yourself Each Week
If my life was a revolving door that only involved school and work, I’d be absolutely miserable. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and I love Booth, but each of us needs something to take our mind off both, especially when they get stressful. Whether it’s making time each day to read Game of Thrones or playing pickup basketball on Tuesday nights, it’s important to do things for you. Life is much more than just work and school…don’t forget that!
Editor Mike Sharifi is an Evening MBA Student and Director of Business Development at Built in Los Angeles. His hobbies include running, volleyball, and exploring local restaurants.