We all know that studying is a key input to advancing your career and a critical element to personal development. Unfortunately for many people, the idea of going back to class while working is a very daunting prospect. Recently I undertook the somewhat daunting task of completing a Project Management certification course and had to think hard about how I would go about balancing work, life and studying. Well, here are some of the things that helped me along the way and may well help you.
It’s very easy to fall behind in your coursework / assignments when you have a demanding job, family responsibilities etc. on the go. My advice is, as soon as you receive the material, look at what you need to get through in the time-frame and split the work up into manageable chunks to get to a “x number of pages / chapters per week” calculation. This allows you to track your progress against your planned schedule and you will immediately notice when you’re falling behind and allow you to put in the corrective action.
2. Study during work time:
We all know that there are a lot of distractions at home. I attempted studying at home, but quickly found out that a playful child, ringing telephones and the sound of a television won’t allow me to get much done. My answer to this was to allocate a couple of lunch hours to studying at work (granted this is not always possible). Better yet, locking yourself in a meeting room for an hour or two after work allows for a much more focussed cram session.
Studying requires a lot of commitment and therefor calls for some sacrifices. The easiest ones to make are the where the sacrifice only affects you, such as watching your favourite television series or sport event. This won’t make you feel like you’ve missed much and give you a sense of achievement afterwards.
Well, these are my tips work how to balance studying whilst working! Hopefully these will allow you to work out what works best for you. Happy studying!
Guest Contributor: Morné van Voorst, PMP is a senior project manager at iVise.