How do I balance study with a full time job and still have a life?
It is true that it is no joke taking on additional study while working full time and trying to have a life but it can be done with a little preparation and effort you can have the best of all worlds and a qualification in one year. It is a very achievable goal to set yourself. So what are you waiting for? Here are some tips to make it easier.
Create a schedule and stick to it
Be realistic if you already have 23 hours of your day accounted for then schedule 40 minutes a day for some intense study. Most courses take between 10 and 20 hours per week to really master and stay on top of all the materials.
Even a part time course will have a great deal of additional reading required so make sure to be clever about how you spend your time. Use your commute (audio books are great if you are doing the driving). Miss traffic by going in to work early or staying late and get an extra hour study done.
Choose your topic wisely
I cannot not tell you how important it is to enjoy what you are studying (especially for a thesis) but if you can also make it work related then you get to “study” while doing the day job. This way you can talk to people who have done similar projects before and network with the right people.
Get it done
Procrastination is the killer of a good study routine. Schedule time 4 or 5 days a week to get some study in (not every day – you need a break to assimilate all that knowledge you are gathering).
Take notes and type them up
Take as many notes as you can in class and type up those that are of interest to you or may be useful for assignments. Also take notes while you read and PLEASE remember to keep a list of references that you will need. There are lots of software programmes that can do this for you or just keep a simple excel spreadsheet but keep it as you go along. If you take nothing else from this blog remember that, you will thank me I promise.
While you are studying, study! Turn off the phones and social media. No unnecessary noise or interruptions. Set an alarm for about 50 minutes and stand up and walk around a bit. Drink some water, stretch. Then get back to it.
Take care of yourself
Your health, diet and exercise regime all affect your ability to learn and retain information. Be good to yourself eat as much fresh, healthy food as you can and cut back on the alcohol it really does affect memory. When drinking your brain processes slow down and your memory can be impaired (Drinkaware.ie)