Monday, October 11, 2010

Timing is Everything

My current dilemma is setting aside time to accomplish all the required tasks for my job and class.  I have had this problem since I started back in grad school.  Each semester I have to set aside time after my daughter goes to bed to work on homework for class.  The big issue that I have is that under normal circumstances, I used this very same time to work on work for my job.  I have an employer who has been great about letting me do work from home.  When I had my daughter 3 years ago, the company set up access for me to log into all my work stuff from home.  This allowed me to keep up with the basics of my job while I was out on maternity leave.  Since then, this feature has allowed me to work only 4 days a week in the office and do whatever work I can from home to be with my daughter 1 day a week (besides the weekends).  I make up the work by working after she goes to bed at night and during napntimes when she is home with me.  This is a huge benefit that my company has given to me.  It will unfortunately be coming to an end within a year, but I have been able to enjoy my baby girl very much with the time I have been given.
The reason that I go into all this is that I now have the difficulty of deciding whether to spend the precious time after Sami goes to bed doing school or work.  My theory is currently and has always been that since work pays my paycheck then that is priority.  Also, I'm voluntarily taking classes.  Work is not requiring or even requesting me to take classes.  With this thought in mind, I am having great difficulty accomplishing the work load that is required for some of the classes I've had to take.
I have a full time job and a family besides taking classes.  I wonder if anyone else has the same conflict internally whether to do your job well and miss out on homework opportunity or is something else lacking in order to accomplish both well?  Also, I'm wondering why it seems that some professors understand that their class is not the only task we have to deal with in our lives and others seem to think that their information is so important that even if a relative dies, we would have to skip the funeral to take care of class or homework.


  1. I think that is the $100,000 question all (or most) MBA students ask themselves.

    My hat goes off to you though. I do not have a family to tend to and I still struggle balancing school with work with taking care of my dog and horse. I could not imagine doing it with a family at home.

    I can always tell when I am back in school though. For example, my house has not been cleaned in weeks, school books are covering my coffee table, and the laundry is backed up until next Tuesday. What I do is prioritize... as obvious as that sounds... but I skip things to make more time.. like laundry and overall cleaning... or dinner (not saying it is healthy). Every minute is precious during this time of the year. I sometimes wake up a little earlier in the morning to even work on something for 30 minutes.. or go into work earlier so I do not have to bring anything hope with me (and I have been going into work at least 45min early daily since the semester started). I also cannot do any work with the tv on (maybe it is just me). I need to turn the tv off or put on a music station and then I find that I am more productive and focused.

    I think it also depends on how demanding your job is at the time and how much brain energy is used during the day. No joke. My previous position was.. well.. easy. So doing homework after work was not a problem because I was not mentally tired after work.

    Either way you cut it, it is a difficult balancing act that I haven't mastered yet.

  2. Becky, there are a number of professors here who think that every word that comes from their mouth is the most important thing ever said. I had a professor here to said those exact things about skipping a funeral. Without naming names, was it for a finance class?
    The balancing act must be rough for people who work. As I am a GA, my job is not stressful enough to distract me from accomplishing work. That comes from my inability to focus and do what matters as opposed to watching TV or hanging out with friends when I know there is stuff to be done. I suppose that's a dilemma many of you would rather have, so I'll stop complaining about it. Best of luck to you, and I'm sure you can get it all done.

  3. Tom, you are correct! Never did make it through that finance class yet. Dropped it once cuz I couldn't guarantee my entire life would revolve around it.

  4. I know perfectly well what you are going through. I came to this country when my first daughter was three years old and I was pregnant of my second one. I did not know the language at that time, so I started to take ESL classes when I was pregnant. Then I finished my bachelor degree of science in Biochemistry. That was a tough time because my girls were still young. In 2004 my father got sick, I had not seen him for the last seven years and I could not see him before his funeral. Today, I am doing my MBA, I am working, and I am still taking care of my daughters because even though they are more independent as adolescents, they need my guidance. Do not worry; life is just a series of cycles, nothing stays forever. Take a few minute breaks sometimes and enjoy it.