by ACCA student blogger Ng Jia Wen
Sometimes life throws not just lemons, but curveballs at you. How do you deal with it?
As I am attempting my final two ACCA papers and since I am a full time student, there are so many things that I will need to take charge of to prepare myself for the next chapter of my life.
A few years ago, when I started my journey with ACCA, I knew that I would have to sacrifice some things in order to keep my studies on track. The question that I always had (and I am sure many students have) was this; what would I have to sacrifice, and how much? Would I achieve that elusive study-life balance that everybody was talking about?
As I am nearing the end of my student life, I’ve come to a conclusion that study-life balance can be achieved. It’s just a matter of prioritizing, but how to prioritize, you ask? Everything seems important, phone calls to make, exams to study for, appointments to attend, work needs to be done.
The 80/20 rule
Pareto’s 80/20 rule of thumb is ‘80% of consequences stem from 20% of causes‘, quoted by Joseph M. Juran, the person who discovered the theory (later named the principle after Pareto). This goes to say 20% of the activities we do will affect 80% of the outcome.
I apply the 80/20 rule in every action I take every day. This way, I constantly remind myself that I should perform the activities necessary that will give a positive outcome, which is, of course, studying.
Of course, life goes on, unexpected events happen, but how do I make up for it?
Learn to say ‘No’
Sometimes I have emergencies that were unplanned and I would triple-book myself in a day. I’ll admit, it’s difficult, if not impossible to juggle so many things in one day.
The most important thing that I still struggle with is learning to say ‘no’. Growing up in an Asian parenting style, we were told that saying no is a bad thing, especially when saying it to your boss or your elders. I still struggle with saying no; holding the fear that people will view me negatively and I would disappoint them.
However, saying no to certain things that is too much for you is essential. I had a personal experience when I took on too many things at one time, I got too stressed and didn’t perform as well as I should have in everything that I had undertaken. Now, I only take on special tasks if I must and only if I am certain I can take on the role and perform it to my best.
Do stop to smell the roses
Often at times when I study and work too hard, I sometimes I forget that there are more things to life. After all, ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’.
On some days, I take time off to allow myself to have a break, time with family and friends, and time to pick up a hobby.
I’d like to think that it’s good to have a balance of book smarts and street smarts. After all, the theory we learn in school may or may not be applicable in real life, but they give us a strong foundation for us to learn better in the future.
Hopefully by now you would have picked out some tips that I’ve delivered through this article. Until the next time, study hard and take care of your health!