After a day at work dealing with a stack of emails, phone calls and budgets followed by the rat race of peak hour traffic, most of us like nothing more than to kick off our shoes and relax for an hour or so before cooking, cleaning and dealing with our home life. But how do you manage when you then have to fit in hours of study as well?
At Overells we have a number of cadets working and studying. Many of us will have to deal with this at some point, whether it be as an undergraduate, postgraduate or for professional study. So how do you handle it all? These are some of the tips that keep me moving along:
1. Be Organised
Being organised is easier said than done, but it is the key to keeping sane!
Write a list of everything you want to get done at the beginning of each day or study session. I have two diaries, one that is solely for study tasks and the other one keeps the rest of my life organised. This will help keep you focused and on task. Make sure your list is achievable though, you will feel more positive if you have realistic expectations of yourself.
2. Keep your study area tidy
There is nothing worse than coming home to study after a day at work and finding that you need to spend half an hour cleaning up your mess from last night before you can start. I guarantee nothing else will make you feel less like studying! Although it can be difficult, I always make sure that I clean my desk at the end of a study session.
You will achieve more and feel especially positive if you take time to exercise regularly. Try to spend 20-30 minutes each day getting your heart rate up. Personally, I love going for a swim as soon as I get home; after a 20 minute swim my head is clear and I feel far better prepared to attack my studies. It may sound counter-intuitive, but you will feel more relaxed and energised after a brisk walk than after sitting in front of the TV for half an hour.
4. Keep yourself interested
If you like sticking colourful notes all over the wall then do it! I managed to fill an entire wall by the time exams came around once. (Granted I was living on-campus and had a very small wall.) You will learn more if you enjoy what you are doing, so try and keep it interesting for yourself and mix it up a little.
5. Give everything 100%
If you are going to commit to work and study you can't do it half-heartedly. While you are at work, focus on work. When you get home, it is important to forget about work and focus on the study. And don't forget when you give yourself time out (when, not if!), make sure you actually take time off and do something you really enjoy.
If you commit to studying while working it's not going to be a walk in the park, but you can make it a bit easier on yourself enabling you to reap the rewards.