Studying to obtain my Communication Master’s degree while also working full-time requires diligence and dedication. Most importantly, however, it takes strong time management skills to ensure my coursework, professional career, and personal life do not suffer. According to Jo, Kim, and Yoon (2014), “Time management strategies are increasingly required in the context of adult learning because such learners are in the usual situation of being involved both in their study and their job at the same time” (p. 214). For those adult learners who don’t adopt time management strategies, there can be negative ramifications. According to Jo et al., (2014) “… adult learners frequently fail in the completion of online courses due to poor time management strategy” (p. 222).
In light of this fact, I employ numerous time management tactics to guarantee that I am a successful and stress free student.
In the Masters in Communication program at Purdue University, there is a lot of weekly reading – as would be expected in any reputable communication masters program. To stay up-to-date with the assigned readings, I often:
- Bring my textbook to work and read during my lunch break.
- Print off assigned article readings and bring them to the gym. While riding the stationary bike, I read about the weekly subject matter and highlight sections of interest.
- Exploit all of the time in which I am idle and waiting for something to happen: riding in the car during a long road trip, sitting at the airport, or waiting at the doctor’s office. These times are perfect for reading course material, planning a research paper or replying to students’ discussion posts on the program’s learning management system platform.
Even after integrating the coursework into my daily work and exercise routines, during most weeks there are still several more hours of studying that needs to get done. Based on the week’s assignments and my personal commitments, I plan my study time accordingly. Sometimes, I may wake up early on a Saturday or Sunday morning to finish my coursework. Other times, I may study extra hard during the week so that I have my weekend virtually free. Regardless of the particulars, in order to be successful in Purdue’s online Master’s in Communication program, students must employ time management strategies that focus on incorporating coursework into their daily routine.
Jo, I, H., Kim, D., & Yoon, M. (2015). Constructing Proxy Variables to Measure Adult Learners’ Time Management Strategies in LMS. Educational Technology & Society, 18(3), 214-225.
Jordan Bartlett is a student in Purdue’s online Master of Science in Communication degree program. The program can be completed in just 20 months and covers numerous topics critical for advancement in the communication industry, including crisis communication, social media engagement, focus group planning and implementation, survey design and survey analysis, public relations theory, professional writing, and communication ethics.
*The views and opinions expressed are of the author and do not represent the Brian Lamb School of Communication.