11 July 2018 Share

Edtech Time Management

Managing work, being a mother and a student, on the i-Flex EMBA program

| Author: Vira Smyshliaieva


We all like to say: “If I had had more time then I would have read more/ worked out in the gym/ spent more time with friends or family/ participated in social projects/ made a dream come true/ learned new things… “

And then your baby is born…Boom!

And you start saying that now you’re totally out time… It’s true, now you have an official excuse to skip a lot of tasks, postpone your dreams and goals and just be a parent.
But, do you know what? I think that all this time-related stuff is just a type of procrastination, just a pretext to enable ourselves to be lazy when no-one can see us. I think that by using this excuse, people think that they look very important to others. However, in the end all of us spend a lot of time (masses!) on totally unimportant time wasters like Facebook, Instagram, PC games, YouTube, TV shows, etc.

Your counterargument may be the need to have some rest and do social activities. But let’s be honest, we could spend our time in a higher quality way with more positive outcomes than most of us do.
When my husband and I decided to do an MBA diploma we were already young parents of a beautiful four-month-old baby girl. At the time I was already the COO of an outsourcing company and I continued working remotely while being on maternity leave.

It is only a matter of time management

Attending a full-time MBA was not an option since, apart from the parenting, there are no accredited EMBA programs in Ukraine. So when we found the i-Flex program with distance learning for an Executive MBA it was like hitting the jackpot. We decided to enrol together and this is how we became student-parents.
My interview with MIP was really extraordinary. On the day of the interview, I came into the office in order to have the proper environment and atmosphere.

Our office is located in a Business Centre in the heart of a city. The call had just started when the Business Centre’s alarm went off with an announcement of a bomb threat in the building. I think that Maria Carulli, who was conducting the interview on behalf of MIP, was shocked. Since this was not the first threat of its kind, however, I told her that we could proceed.

I think that in this, I really showed myself to be a person who can handle stress.
There is no secret to managing work as a COO, being a mother and a student on the i-Flex EMBA program because it is only a question of time management, avoiding some time wasters (I am still working on this) and scheduling priorities.

How to study while working

So, how do I manage to study while working? I usually study early in the morning before everyone wakes up (from 5-6 a.m. until 7-8 a.m. depending on my schedule) or in the evening, after the baby has gone to bed. Also, I have optimized my time schedule at work so as to give me the opportunity to spend some time at work studying – for instance, during lunchtime.

Here I would like to give huge thanks to my trusted team, which I can rely on at any time.

An important part of my life is being a mother to my baby, Kira, who is my heart and soul. She has become used to staying with her nanny while I am at work, but I manage my schedule in such a way as to be able to spend all my free time with her without being distracted by a phone full of e-mails, messages and social networks. Also, Kira travels with me on all my business trips. It is challenging but I feel less stressed when I know that my baby is next to me.

I continue to work out in the gym three times a week, plus twice a week I go the pool with Kira. I try to visit different exhibitions, usually at weekends, which I plan really thoroughly so as not to waste even a minute. I am currently having weekly coaching sessions at 10 p.m. I certainly try to get no less than six hours’ sleep a night. What I miss is reading fiction. I really try to find time for reading but it is one thing that I have been compromising on for some time.
It looks as if I am managing to do everything – however, I feel that I am not managing to do anything at all. What I feel is that 24 hours is not as short a time as it seems. I am learning to fit in all my plans and hoping to upgrade this skill to perfection soon and use it – even after graduation – for good.


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