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Time is at a premium for every mom. It never feels like there are enough hours in a day, especially when you’re trying to juggle your own education with the needs of your family and career. The good news is that there are ways to save time and still study effectively, even when it feels impossible. Here are four time-saving tips for studying when you’re a busy mom.
- Go Back to Basics
Everyone learns differently, but there are a few basic rules that are pretty universal for any type of learner of any age.
First of all, pay attention in class. Don’t let your mind wander and think about all the other things you have to do that day – give your full attention to your instructor. Even if you’re someone who learns best by studying the material on your own, concentrating in class will take away some of the preliminary study work by familiarizing you with the basics.
Second, don’t try to cram before an exam. A few minutes of reviewing flashcards every day is infinitely more valuable than cramming the hour before you take a test. You’re more likely to retain the information if you absorb it gradually. Think back to what study methods worked when you were last in school – there’s a good chance they’ll still work today.
- Use a Book Summary App
Time is valuable and almost always in short supply, particularly for moms. You may just not have the luxury of being able to sit down and put in the hours on assigned or supplementary reading. That is why a book summary app might be a wise decision.
Apps like Blinkist feature thousands of primarily non-fiction titles, with more being added constantly. Books are broken down into their key ideas, intended to provide a comprehensive summary of these books that is easily accessible and fast to take in. Blinkist in particular even has a unique audio feature, so you can listen while you fold laundry or cook dinner.
Outside of the hard sciences, your instructors and professors rarely expect you to pore over every last detail of the reading. They want you to take in the most important concepts, which is why a summary app is such an invaluable tool for time management.
- Study While Your Kids Do
Studying can be a family activity, too! If your kids are old enough to attend school, sit down to do some of your own schoolwork while they do theirs. Even if this time isn’t full of chatter, just being in a room with your kids while you each focus on your own work can be a wonderful bonding opportunity.
You can also be in control of any distractions that may have otherwise popped up – your kids can’t goof off on their phones or watch TV if you’re there to keep an eye on things. And when they ask for help, you’ll be there! Just don’t get too caught up in helping them that you neglect your own work.
- Don’t Forget Breaks
Taking a break? As a way to save time? It sounds crazy, but scheduling in breaks is more important than you’d think. At the end of the day, you’re a mom, not a work machine. If you can’t find any break opportunities throughout your day, make them. Be strict about bedtime. Let your kids get lost in that video game for a few hours. If possible, talk with your spouse or partner and see if they’re able to take some responsibilities off your shoulders.
Don’t try to be super-mom – it’s okay to miss a PTA meeting or call in take-out for dinner some nights. By making your own mental health a priority and understanding the value of taking a break, you’re saving yourself from burning out. When we’re tired and overwrought, we make mistakes or forget things. Regular, significant downtime keeps you happy, healthy and lets you be the best student you can be.