Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Working Mom's Guide to Pursuing Your Own Education [Part 2]

So in our first post dedicated to pursuing your own education we talked about using the pomodoro method to help you get focused and take care of some big tasks. Today I want to talk about my favorite strategy for working on an assignment.

Being a working mom and going to school is tough. I often work on my assignments after 8:30PM or before 7AM. It's not easy to be gung ho about getting work done around those times. So when I have an assignment yo complete, I find that my best tactic is to start by laying out all the headings/sections I have to write or questions I need to answer. Then I go to whichever section I want and start writing/brainstorming/jotting down key phrases or concepts I want to include. This works for me because it's essentially creating an outline but without doing so in a totally separate document. One I run out of information, I simply pick a new section. This process continues with me jumping back and forth filling in information as it hits me. 

Once I get to a stopping point, then I go back and start editing or focusing on completing one section. Again, sometimes this is entirely out of order (but I find it tough to write an introduction till I've fully developed and explored some ideas). 

Because I'm getting my masters in educational technology and totally online, most of my professors have us use Google Docs and Drive. If you haven't checked these out yet you are missing one of the greatest free tools the Internet (Google) has to offer. Not only do Google docs save automatically, they offer super-simple share features, a research tool that can help you create your reference list, and it can be accessed from any computer as long as there's Internet. Talk about a winning combination.

So that's this week's trick for working on and completing an assignment for your education while juggling the duties of work and the duties and joys of motherhood.

What are your best tricks? How do you get work done? Are you a coffee shop worker or do you need a quiet secluded place to work?