Six Time Management Tips for Adult Students

By DeVry University

Everyone gets 24 hours, every day, and on its own, that’s a lot of time. At least, until you start adding up all you have to do in that timeframe.

Sleep: -8 hours (if you’re lucky)

Get ready for the day: -1 hour

Commute to work: -1 hour

Work: -8 hours

Commute home: -1 hour

Mow the lawn: -1 hour

Eat: - 30 minutes

Son’s basketball practice: -1.5 hours

Help daughter with homework: -30 minutes

Get kids in bed: -30 minutes

Suddenly, you have just one much-deserved hour to yourself to relax. But what if you wanted to add going back to school – be it on campus or online – into that time crunch?

Fortunately, even with a busy schedule like the one illustrated above, better time management can make this want a reality. To help, we put together six time-management tips to help adult students fit it all in without sacrificing those precious hours of sleep.

Plan Your Week

Time management is all about being prepared, and to be prepared, you have to have a plan.

Plan out your week, including all your school projects and classes, along with normal-life obligations. This will allow you to see where you can squeeze in time to read a chapter or carve out time for homework.


While all school work is important, some are more urgent or time-sensitive than others. Or maybe one project is due before you have to read a chapter for a different class. Whatever it is, list out all your tasks for school and then order them on which need to get done now versus those that can wait.

Cut Out Distractions

Don’t you love it when someone tells you how busy they are and how little time they have, but in their next breath they start rattling on about all the different TV shows they’ve been watching?

The average American watches over five hours of TV a day and spends over 2.5 hours on their phone![1] Even if that’s not you, cutting down on television or checking the apps on your smart phone will free up time for school work.

Maximize Free Time

As an adult-learning strategy, maximize any small window of free time by always having your school materials with you. Waiting for your kid’s practice to end? Break out a book and do some school work. It may only be 10 minutes, but do it enough and it will make a big difference.  

Balance Family and Work

Roughly 75 percent of college students juggle a job and/or family while attending school. These are two important parts of anyone’s life; maybe the most important.

Going to school as an adult can cut into one or both of these, but there are ways to integrate school with these. Take your kids on a trip to the library, where they can read while you study, or skip eating lunch with coworkers a couple times a week to do school work while you eat lunch.

Be Healthy

This one doesn’t seem like it has anything to do with time, but it does. A rested, healthy person is simply more efficient than a tired, worn-out one.