There are many tips, tricks, hacks and ideas out there that will help you successfully manage your studies. Juggling home life, a full-time job and studying can be daunting. When scrolling through the seemingly infinite search results on Google, it’s clear to see that there is one message at the core of all these tips. The one skill you need to ensure success is self-management.
What does this mean? Simple, taking responsibility for your behaviour and well-being. This is a concept which is likely familiar to most of us. However, when considering the current trend of exhaustion and burn out that seems to be prevalent in most industries, it is evident that self-management is not a concept we are as experienced in at applying.
But how do we take that step? How do we practically apply this in our daily lives? After all, it is a key factor in ensuring study and work success.
Here are 5 examples of ways in which you can master the art of self-management. All of these examples are focused on cultivating the necessary habits that support a healthy work-study-life balance.
We all function at our best during different times of the day. Though science suggests that the best time for our natural peak productivity is in the late morning, not everyone is the same. It is important to pinpoint your most productive time of the day and build the rest of your day around it, where possible. Night owls who try to get their studies done in the morning will find it more difficult to concentrate. This results in inefficient studying that effectively just wastes your time.
Plan, plan (and we cannot stress this enough), PLAN!
Winging it and hoping you will be able to get through all your course material might have worked for you years ago, but now that you have added responsibilities and less flexibility, planning is essential. Know what needs to get done in the day (work, cooking, helping your children with homework, studying, etc.) and assign these activities to different times of the day. Do the same with your course work. In its simplest form, you will need to divide the amount of work you have by the number of days/weeks you have available. This will guide you as to the number of hours per day you need to set aside for studying. Know which days you need to adjust for (holidays, special occasions, etc.) and make sure that you cover all of your course material in time.
Be honest with yourself and your employer.
Studying does take quite a lot of time and dedication. This is true for any course or qualification. When you are honest with yourself and with your employer as to what you are able to achieve with the time that you have available, you avoid setting unrealistic targets. When we take on too much work, we run the risk of disappointing both ourselves and our employers. As the saying goes: “You can do anything, but not everything.”
Set small, short term goals.
To help you stay motivated, set small attainable goals that you can reach daily. This could be as straightforward as setting the number of pages you want to work through for the day. When we achieve small goals on a daily basis, we are able to feel a sense of achievement. This sense of achievement motivates us to keep going.
Take care of yourself.
As a working adult, dealing with pressure comes naturally to us. So much so, that being exhausted is now the new norm. This will not help you during your studies. It is important to take time away from the stresses in your life and recharge. Whether it’s a day to yourself, an hour-long gym session or simply a cup of coffee at the office. The perfect analogy for this is to think of a car. It has the ability to drive at incredibly fast speeds, but it was not made to function at such speeds all the time. Similarly, we are all capable of dealing with intense amounts of pressure, but we were not made to deal with such pressure all the time – we will break.
Studying and working at the same time is challenging, but not impossible. After all, you have been able to achieve things that you thought were impossible in the past. With the right support, structure and self-management, you will no doubt be able to achieve success again.
The One Skill You Need to Ensure Success / The One Skill You Need to Ensure Success