6. Limit credit hours: Twelve credits a semester may work in college but not in business school, advises Ericka Smith, a recent University of Wisconsin—Whitewater College of Business and Economics MBA grad. "Exceeding nine credits is going to be physically and mentally demanding," says Smith, who juggled her MBA studies, a Habitat for Humanity board position, a full-time marketing job, and raising a four-year-old son.
7. Exercise regularly: As an MBA student at the College of Business at University of Texas—San Antonio in the mid-1990s, Zan Jones worked full time, served on a nonprofit board, and taught fitness and aerobics two evenings a week. "Exercise helped me stay healthy and have more energy, and being forced to exercise kept me active," she says.
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8. Don't skimp on sleep: Instead of burning the midnight oil, Jones woke up at 4:30 a.m. sharp, studied for an hour or an hour-and-a-half, and then went back to sleep until 7 a.m. "Instead of waking up tired from being up half the night, I would wake up feeling relatively rested," she says.
9. Outsource: MBA students need to delegate responsibilities where possible. On a recent panel of former executive MBA students at Arizona State University's W. P. Carey School of Business, someone joked about the importance of hiring a gardener, says Stacey Whitecotton, the school's associate dean for MBA programs. "Even though it was funny, you seriously need to realize that you can no longer do everything you used to do," she says.
10. Limit TV watching: If you insist on having a television, store it in a closet and only bring it out for must-see programs, says Lubin management professor Bruce Bachenheimer. But that doesn't mean have no fun.
"Eat, drink, and be merry without feeling guilty," he says. "Work hard for that time to relax and savor it."
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