Picture: Schedule time without to-dos! My family on our USA-Trip after the month in Rochester
Even before starting the EMBA, I asked myself (and many people around me also asked me) – how am I supposed to manage all of this?The spoiler comes right at the beginning – I’m not always a good juggler and fail miserably, time and time again. This then comes at the expense of my sleep, harmony in the family or relationship, my own balance, or the reliability of meeting deadlines at work. But I have learned a few tricks over the past year:
It was chaos at the beginning: lots of emails from Rochester-Bern (RoBe), lots of deadlines and assignments, syllabi and working groups. I remedied this by entering all RoBe appointments in my work agenda so that I had an overview. I also set up a filing system that was organized by course so that I could access documents and papers quickly and offline.
It is illusory to prepare for courses and exams exclusively in evening and night shifts. At some point after a few months, my very caring assistant began to rigorously block time slots for me, which then remained without appointments.
A big mistake is to constantly study and work and be a mom at the same time. There were times when the laptop was constantly on the family table or in the kitchen. It’s not efficient, it’s annoying at best and there’s a risk of getting distracted. That’s why it’s worth getting up early on the weekend, for example, when everyone is still asleep at home, to switch on an external study session so that you can then take part in family life again from midday. Also plan weekends and holidays without learning-sessions and tasks from work.
Not a week went by in which we didn’t have to either study for exams, prepare courses or write papers. I found it helpful to choose topics for the assignments that were relevant to my work at the Swiss Cancer League. This allowed me to take advantage of synergies and invest my time and newly learned content in topics that I could then use directly or indirectly for my projects at the Swiss Cancer League.
Firstly, I’m not even a little bit as organized as I might seem and secondly, life rarely goes according to plan. Urgent business or requests come up at work, the laundry piles up at home or someone has lice again or urgently needs to practice a presentation or learn French vocabulary, appointments for school or the children’s leisure activities are forgotten or the times and dates of RoBe courses unexpectedly change. Or perhaps there’s suddenly an evening without any obligations that you could use to study – only the sofa and Netflix or an aperitif with friends or simply time with your loved one are much more tempting. What I have also learned: Stay relaxed, don’t be a perfectionist and don’t forget to enjoy yourself and everyday life.
The final phase of our EMBA has begun! Even though there were moments of exhaustion last year, I am very happy and a little proud that I took on this challenge. But I’m already looking forward to the time from June onwards, without a constantly full RoBe-to-do list breathing down my neck!