Balancing On-line College Studies, Work, and Personal Relationships On-line college studies bring forth various challenges for a student as the concept of time may easily be disregarded or forgotten along with problems regarding distractions and the sense of presence (“Online Study Techniques”). In this sense, if a student also takes into consideration pressing issues such as those that stem from work, family, and friends, then the difficulty of successfully completing on-line college studies become even worse.
However, the presence of such problems, difficulties, and challenges does not mean that every student going through on-line college studies has a myriad of excuses so as not to excel in their educational pursuit. In fact, given the right mind set and the right approach in decision making, it is most likely that a student will be able to optimally accomplish each task in his or her on-line studies while still being able to perform at work and maintain relations with family and friends.
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Personally, I incorporate concepts of time management and effective prioritization in order to attain efficient decision making. As mentioned, in decision making, I utilize effective prioritization in order to come up with the best possible options for a given situation. In this sense, I build up a hierarchy of considerations and events which may come up and how I should perceive each and every situation given if such situations overlap. In addition, I also develop a sense of hierarchy in relation to studies, work, friends, and family.
Although it may seem that such an approach seems to be quite effective and one may bring up questions as to why even though people tend to have a similar approach but fail at decision making. The answer is quite simple, the reason for the inability to utilize prioritization as a tool for guiding decision making is not strictly followed and such individuals opt to choose the easier or more pleasurable choices instead of selecting the more important tasks.
In my case though, I prioritize and decide according to which choice would bring the most positive effects. To expound upon the potential use of effective prioritization in terms of decision making, it is only proper to discuss through the use of specific examples. In this sense, a good example comes in the form of accomplishing additional tasks at work which basically translates into a bigger payout while also considering the progress through on-line studies and coursework.
Considering that I already have a stable amount of funds and have a good amount of saving, then working for additional hours even though additional pay is given would not have been an efficient choice since technically my funds are already in excess. On the other hand, in relation to the on-line studies that have progressed slowly, allocating ample amounts of time and effort for such will definitely be not an excess and if I really want to attain my specialized associates' degree through distant learning, then I should spend more time to work on my studies.
Hence, I chose to accomplish the latter option. However, sometimes one cannot simply choose an option over another especially if one or more of the possible choices are with added urgency. Since it is quite often that I am placed in a situation wherein I have to decide between different possible tasks in which time is of the essence, I have developed a way to incorporate efficient time management aside from effective prioritization into my decision making skills.
To expound, efficient time management in my own perspective pertains to how the hours of the day or the days of the week are scheduled effectively in order to progress in my work and studies while still being a significant presence to my family and friends. Also, time management pertains to the reality that some decisions made or tasks accepted may be done on another day while some events cannot simply be accomplished if missed the first time around. In relation to prioritization though, not every opportunity or task that may not reoccur on a definite time is not always the best option so time management in relation to decision making.
A good example for the use of efficient time management in relation to decision making is in terms of choosing between the options of attending the birthday of my beloved niece and continuing my on-line studies. In the situation, it is quite expected that the birthday party, along with the opportunity to greet her and give her a gift in person, would only occur at a specific time and date. Considering that I am lagging behind in terms of my on-line studies, I also thought about using my free time to catch up with the remaining coursework.
Of course, thinking that my studies are more important in the long run, and my niece would probably not hate me that much if I miss her birthday, my initial reaction was to just stay at home and continue my studies. Later on, I realized that if I missed the birthday then it might create an unavoidable stress between us. Taking into consideration that on-line studies are characteristically flexible in nature and progress may be made at one's own pace, then I simply went to the birthday, stayed for a while, and later on went back home to finally continue the coursework that should be completed.
Hence, both tasks were accomplished. The important aspect of the decision making process in this sense, is the capability to postpone something to be done at a later time but still making sure that the postponed task is accomplished. In addition, it is also important to know which tasks should be conducted first and at the same time realize which tasks can really be set aside initially.
In this sense, what works for me personally as discussed, is to utilize both time management and prioritization in deciding which tasks or events should be considered to be done first. Of course, such a method has some negative points as well. In most cases though, from a personal standpoint, it is definitely useful to use efficient time management and effective prioritization in relation to decision making as reflected through the stability of my personal relationships with family and friends, as well as good productivity at work and on my studies.
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