Written by Brian Tocci
Editor’s note: Brian Tocci is Director of Operations for Larsen Motorsports and a student in Florida Tech’s MBA program. As part of Florida Tech’s affiliation with Larsen Motorsports, Tocci has been awarded a scholarship to pursue his graduate degree online. Read his first blog post here.

Pursuing my MBA online with Florida Tech has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. I am furthering my education and learning new skills that I can use in my career at Larsen Motorsports. I have had to learn how to properly manage my time and schedule to get the most out of my degree program while putting the most into my career.

Create Your Time Management Plan

We all have our own time management style, but I have found that if you don’t have a time management plan it will be very difficult to balance school, work and your personal life. I set up a consistent routine and schedule to follow throughout the week, from week to week, using the following method:

Step One: Determine The Hours

The first step was to determine how much time I needed for class and work. From there, I laid out my work hours. This is where I got into a little trouble, because I am lucky enough to love what I do and enjoy my teammates, so I don’t always want to leave and go do schoolwork.

Step Two: Factor in Challenges

I travel often for work — that’s when my hours are inconsistent, so I adapt and make time for class and personal time.

Step Three: Choose Productive Times

I set times around my work hours for class when I know I will be the most productive. For me, it is early in the morning before work or right before going to bed. You should understand your preferences and play to your strengths.

Step Four: Stick to It

Creating a schedule and setting up a routine are great starts, but if the follow-through is not there, all the work was for nothing. Getting into the rhythm is always the hardest part for me, but once I consistently follow my schedule, I don’t have to think about when I am going to have time for completing assignments.

Step Five: Be Flexible and Avoid Procrastination

The big thing to understand about making a schedule is that life happens and you can adjust the schedule as needed. Something always comes up — whether it is in life, class or work — that requires you to be flexible with your schedule. That is why I believe procrastination should be avoided at all costs. I have gotten off work early in the week and thought “I can skip my reading/assignment/project/test tonight and do it later in the week,” but if I skip it, something usually ends up happening later in the week and I need to rush to complete my assignments. Procrastination puts more stress on me than not.

I have found what works best for me, and that is making a schedule and keeping a consistent routine, but being able to adapt if needed. I think anyone who is balancing a full-time job and a degree should take the time to discover which time management method works best. It will be a great benefit and help with success at both work and school.

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