Remember the last time you had to study without feeling too cramped for time? You most likely had to study full-time and that was your only job: study. Now though, you have a full-time job that requires undivided attention and you also need to develop yourself professionally.
Let’s be honest, this means business. Studying is a job on its own and needs dedication as well. So how can you manage your time wisely? Well, good thing that you have this article to refer to as there will be realistic tips to help you navigate this time of your life.
In a previous article, we delved into how to keep learning when you work full-time and quite frankly to achieve this, there needs to be some level of time management and dedication which is why this article will come in helpful in the long run.
1. Selecting a convenient schedule
This first point is very important and will determine the rest of your study pattern. If you have chosen to have an in-class course, then it’s really important to choose classes along the time when you are most convenient. For example, if you work a 9-5 job, it’s only wise to have your classes around evenings and at most one hour after the close of your business day.
This will give you some time to wrap up work related stuff, settle down, eat and get mentally prepared for the day’s study/ class. It’s only fair to make things well planned for yourself physically and mentally.
When you’ve selected a fairly convenient schedule, then you can work around making adjustments to every other thing around work, life, and study.
2. Making time more flexible (early morning, lunch break, evening)
Your study pattern is for a while so with this in mind, you might want to work on a new schedule or routine. Dedicating 2 hours early in the morning can help get you up to speed on your studies. You could complete a chapter or two or at least get closer to finishing up an assignment which is a step in the right direction.
Try your best to put the phone away and avoid late-night reruns on TV. Better still, allot a time of the day for TV shows and stick to it. It’s good to work and relax when needed, however, you need to stay dedicated to your goal of studying. To retain much information, you really need to discipline yourself into knowing when it’s study time and when it’s not.
Depending on how your job is, you can also, sneak in an hour to catch up on a few study related information as need. And before dinner or bedtime, you can equally schedule some time to study. It’s all about discipline and learning to stay focus with your eyes on the price.
Did you know?
Scientists started exploring the “curve of forgetting” in 1885, but the concept remains useful to today’s study habits. The study explains that the first time you hear a lecture or study something new, you retain up to 80% of what you’ve just learned, if you review the material within 24 hours.
Fortunately, this effect is cumulative; so after a week, you may retain 100% of the same information after only five minutes of review. Generally, psychologists agree this type of interval studying as opposed to “cramming” is best, and students should study closer to the day they learned the material than the day of the test.
3. Take advantage of your commute
Commute time is another good way to study. However, it’s understandable if this can be difficult especially if you drive. So if you have recorded classes or textbooks, then this can be a good way to keep studying ahead of time and at your own pace.
It might not be a good length of time to read, but if you are able to have planned your study pattern, then you can break your studying into smaller chunks which can fit into your commute time.
4. Take advantage of your work benefits
If you are fortunate to have work from home opportunities at your place of work, you can use such time to save commute and spend some time studying. If it’s ‘personal day off’ this is a good one to use as well, since you’ll have the entire day free.
Also, if you are looking to use this as a way to study, try to be strategic about it. Plan it well enough especially around exam or test periods to avoid stress and anxiety on your end. Another thing to keep in mind is the volume of work at your place of work, you don’t want to schedule days off when you know that you might be needed, so plan early enough and book those days early enough so that your colleagues are fully aware and plan towards your absence.
To follow up on this point, it’ll be a good idea to also keep your boss in loop about your study plans so that he/she understands if you need some time off. Besides, it’ll only make your employer understand that you are invested in continuous learning which is good for your career growth even within the company.
5. Take advantage of Technology
Notes are essential but can be tiresome and stressful. When I was in University, I quickly discovered that I save so much time abbreviating words when I had decided to take notes. So ‘continuation’ will be spelled as ‘contn/’ and ‘and was simply ‘&’, you get the gist!
Basically, this relieved me ankle stress and I’ve continued to apply this when taking down jottings. Taking down every single word can make you miss important details. Thankfully, schools now have study apps which you can log into to find course notes and other information. You can take advantage of this and if you must have a hardcopy, you can simply print those out.
Did you know?
Some researchers argue that adopting interactive habits like scrolling, clicking, and pointing enhances the academic experience? However, more than 90% of students polled said they prefer a hard copy or print over a digital device when it comes to studying. A psychology lecturer finds that students required more repetition to learn new material if they were reading on a computer screen versus reading printed material.
6. Eat, know when to rest and take breaks
If you work full-time, determine how many classes you can take for every semester. Realize when it’s time to take a break and don’t overdo things. At the end of the day, when you are done studying and successful in your accomplishments, you want to be healthy. SO keep this in mind and eat well. Rest. Sleep
Find where you feel most comfortable studying: at home, in the library, on the bed, on the couch, after work, at your desk after work, etc. Explore. Find your comfort place and stick to it. As long as it works for you, that’s all that matters in the long run.
Being a student and professional at the same time can be challenging but equally rewarding. If any other person can do it, you can too and we’ve just shared with you how.
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