Archives For Work life balance

Morning rituals

theaccablog —  6 March 2015 — 2 Comments

Morning-rituals

by ACCA student blogger Pantelis Fouli

Becoming more successful in LIFE enables you to become more successful in everything you do. We all here have as common ground our goal of achieving the ACCA Qualification so what can WE do different to separate us from the rest of the pack?

By adopting morning rituals this programs us to start our day right. The meaning of “right” has a different sentiment for everyone.

My “right” is waking up at 05.00am whilst everyone is asleep, it’s very empowering to be able to use the morning hours between 05.00-08.00 to get some specific tasks done.

I start off with my coffee and I it down to review my goals, short term and long term. In my goals I always include qualifying as an ACCA member, that’s always my NUMBER ONE goal. The beauty of reviewing goals is that you have the ability to trouble shoot if you have separated yourself from the course. You can evaluate and of course take corrective action.

I then make sure I get my workout done, a nice brief intense workout for 30 mins. Exercise in almost any form can act as a stress reliever. Being active can boost your feel-good endorphins and distract you from daily worries. (More on How to combat worries in my next blog.)

After I am done, I then proceed to get in an hour of ACCA study time, think about it, your wide awake, you’ve got a nice dose of “happy hormones” pumped throughout your body, what a better time to study. You will be conducive to the material you read.

Finally if I have time I try to get some reading done, my outer transformation (thus getting your workout done to stay fit and healthy) is JUST as important as my inner transformation, thus a few passages from an uplifting book will always get your thinking differently.

I hope I have added some value to your day and stay tuned for “How to combat worry” with regards to our ACCA studies and remember:

“Small daily improvements over time lead to stunning results.” – Robin Sharma

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Why I decided to delay taking my final two ACCA exams

by ACCA student blogger Adhitya Fadriansyah

Hello everyone, how did the recent December exams go? Hope they went well for all of you. As for myself, it was the first time since I started my ACCA journey in 2011 that I decided not to take my remaining two papers in December. It was a tough decision to make, but the right one for me at this time. In this article I would like to share my experience on how I came to decide to delay taking my final exams.

Typically I have always registered during the early entry phase; (registering early will not only cost less, but will also help you in your study plan). However, after receiving and analyzing my June 2014 exam results, I took a more prudent approach to the December exam session and planning it in more detail. When combining my work schedule and my study schedule, I foresaw a big clash: I was offered a once in a lifetime opportunity for an overseas training in the US for seven weeks that I did not want to miss. Since the training was held from the end of September until mid November, I decided to wait until the late exam entry deadline before I made my decision.

The seven weeks overseas training program proved to be very useful and interesting. It consisted of very good material about the industry, combined with a company overview and soft skills. The training itself required n assessment test as well as group presentation and individual presentation. My experience of studying ACCA, particularly in Financial Management and Performance Management helped me a lot during the training program. So at the deadline day of the late exam entry, I decided not to take the exam in December since I had fully concentrated my time on the training program.

Delaying to take an exam can be a sensible option for you depending on your circumstances. After all, careful approach and good planning is one of the key success factors in pursuing ACCA.

See you soon in the next exam in June – I hope I can pass two of my remaining ACCA papers then!

Blog Editors comment: That’s the advantage of doing the ACCA Qualification – the flexibility. You can work and study for our accountancy qualifications around full-time or part-time work; progressing at your own pace.

PanFouliFacebookQ&A

On the 5th November the ACCA marketing team set me the challenge of taking over the global ACCA Facebook page for one day by conducting a live Q&A to assist my fellow students.

It was a great privilege and even if we helped one person out of the 101 ACCA Facebook fan who asked a question then it was a job well done.

Here are some key highlights from the Q&A session and I’ve also combined the answers to common questions here too.

1. It’s a month till the exams and I haven’t started studying yet, what do I do?

  • Skim over notes
  • Start practising questions under examination exam conditions

2. What’s the best way to study?

  • Study 25 min / Break 5 min (do this in cycles)
  • During your 5 minutes break do something you really enjoy (speak to a friend/family member)
  • Find or build a dedicated study area
  • Use the SQ3R method to study = Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review
  • Use Mnemonics (Acronyms, Coin Sayings, Interactive Images)
  • Study in Groups
  • Make sure you get your sleep

3. How do you balance full time employment, being a father, husband, attending college and studying?

  • I wake up each day at 5:00 am
  • Between 5:00 – 5:30 I work out (I don’t need to go into the benefits of a brief intense workout)
  • 5:30 – 6:00 I invest in my personal development (reviewing my goals, reading uplifting books)
  • 6:00 – 8:00: Study
  • 8.00: Get ready for work

4. How do you prepare for P1?

Obviously you need to know your material, but from then on, place yourself in the scenario and think PRACTICALLY as a future qualified accountant, what you would have done, how would YOU have responded.Try to link the scenarios to practical examples, real life examples. It may seem daunting, that the scenario is long, but start off by reading the requirement, then go straight to the first paragraphs where it will give you a good grasp of the overview. Then tackle it bit by bit. How you will use your reading time (15 min) will greatly benefit you for you 50 mark question.

5. Do you have any advice for P3 revision?

As a future qualified accountant you need to think broadly and deeply on all aspects on the business fundamentals. Start off your P3 revision by learning the various models that exist and understand how you would apply them PRACTICALLY in the real world. Go home after class, make sure you invest 5-10 mins to re-read your notes, that’s when everything is nice and fresh, maybe elaborate on a few points and also jot down any questions you may have for next lecture and come study time i like “active recitation”, i.e. read a chunk of material and then attempt to recite it, or talk out loud on that topic to see if you can recollect the area. Hope this helps. Best of luck with your studies.

6. How do you earn Professional Marks in the most efficient way?

Clear handwriting, bullet points where needed. Answering the question and to the point. Think of it this way, you are the marker and you have a limited amount of time to mark the script. What would YOU like to have in front of you to mark? Hope this helps. Best of luck with your studies.

Blog editors comment: We would like to say a big thank you to Pan for conducting such a successful Q&A and for all his wise words to fellow students. We hope to have him back to do another Facebook Q&A session or something similar.

 

Time_Management580x383

This post was originally published in ACCA Potential e-magazine 

Why is it that when there is something that we have to do, we find a million other things we ‘need’ to do first? It is not easy juggling your deadlines all at once; add in paid work, socialising, keeping fit, responsibilities and family. Good time management isn’t just about being able to make a study timetable or work schedule. It’s important to learn how to use the time you have effectively.

Try the following tips to improve your time management:

* prioritise your tasks

* be self-motivated to get your work completed

* get yourself organised so that you don’t waste time looking for things

* develop your study practices so that you use your time efficiently

* stay informed about things like timetables, submission processes and deadlines

For a quick fix to get your time under control try these 5 steps

  1. List everything you need to do

Listing what you need to do is the first step in taking control instead of being reminded and overwhelmed at the thought of everything you still need to do.

  1. Organise under three headings – now, soon and later

Prioritise deadlines into what needs to be done now or perhaps can wait to be done ‘later’. You might be lucky and find that it does not need to be done after all.

  1. Break down big tasks into smaller steps

Try breaking down your tasks into smaller chunks, taking a step at a time, rather than aiming to complete the whole task all in one go.

  1. Tick off what you have done from your ‘now’ list.

It feels good when you get one piece of work done and helps you relax to work on the next piece calmly, even if it was something you were avoiding. If you get stuck, ask for help or go back to the basics and build from there.

  1. Make a plan to tackle the other tasks and put them in order of priority.

Plan what you have to do and when it needs to be done by. Make sure you check the deadline dates and word counts, you are not expected to do more than the scope that is set out for you.

Download the free ACCA student planner app for the iPhone and the Android – this may help keep you organised, so you have student information at your fingertips.

study-life-balance

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!