Archives For work life balance

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!

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by ACCA student blogger Naresh John

Hi all… it’s been a while since I last interacted with you guys. Since exams are over, I figured we should refresh ourselves with a different topic.

Many of us are pursuing the ACCA Qualification while working. A critical factor of being successful at studying ACCA is managing to balance your career with your studies. This is quite a task for me, as I’m sure it is for some of you as well. So I want to share some top tips on what I do to achieve this:

1.     Schedule your time adequately – and stick to it

Having a full-time job and pursuing a professional qualification on a part-time basis tests your time management skills. Overcome this challenge by developing a schedule that allocates specific time slots to work or study, ensuring that there are no overlaps. Always remember to have a buffer area in case anything unexpected happens

2.     Gain support from various influences in your life

We cannot achieve our goals if we do not have the support of those who have an impact on our lives (parents, relatives, employers, spouses). Communicate your goals and objectives to them so that they will be a pillar of support to you (e.g. your employer giving you time off to study, your parents picking you up from classes etc). This will be especially important if at any point you doubt yourself or want to quit.

3. Manage stress 

Stress is an inevitable part of life. Doubling your daily workload means you need to be smarter about managing your stress levels. Various activities can help you do this:

  • Take breaks during daily activities. This is the most underrated means of reducing stress in my opinion. It helps you recollect your thoughts so when you re-start you will know what to do to achieve what you intended.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’ll keep your brain in top condition to handle the increased workload. Exercise and eating healthy will increase the levels of oxygen going to the brain which should improve your memory and keep you calm.
  • Include leisure activities in your daily routine: even though you are pursuing a goal, it’s not your entire life. You still need leisure activities to help rest your mind and keep it responsive.

I believe that these tips, combined with a healthy appetite for pursuing your studies will contribute greatly to a work/study/life balance. I hope that this article can assist everyone trying to achieve this.

Till next time!

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by ACCA student blogger Hafeez Adeboye

December 2013 exams are a few weeks away. Oh, how time flies! It was barely a year ago, December 2012 I was retaking my F8 and F7 papers. And in June 2013, wrote F9 and P1. Now in December 2013, I will be advancing my journey towards completing the ACCA Qualification and achieving ACCA membership.

My previous failures in my penultimate year have taught me the need for effective time management and adequate preparation. You must learn to plan your time around your life style and cultivate the discipline to stick to it.

Planning your time is one thing, managing it is another entirely. That is why you need discipline. After all, in my opinion you only need about 185 hours of study time per exam paper. This sounds like a pretty small fraction of 2,304 hours available between results release and the next exam session.

The 185 hours includes working on past exam papers, study and revision. Modest though it appears, this is actually no mean feat for a working student such as myself.

One setback I face is getting my study leave approved by my employer, because I occupy a sensitive role. So it’s sometimes hard to leave early enough to prepare for my exams. This puts a lot of pressure on my time. Discipline was what got me through. Because of it, my preparation was adequate – as my results reflected; I have not failed a single paper since.

Now I am approaching my final preparation for the December ACCA exams. Kindly join hands in wishing me good luck in my papers, as I do the same for you. I know some don’t believe in luck. Well, I do. And I wish you a lot of it in your exams.

Balancing study and work

soramsey —  10 October 2013 — 7 Comments

by ACCA student blogger Diksha Jeswani

14 exams…… 3 years of practical experience……1 ethics module…sometimes it just seems intimidating …..right?! When I started working, after completing the Fundamentals level papers, my decision was met with consternation from my family and friends. But it’s been 3 years now, and I don’t regret my decision at all! I feel working has definitely changed me completely – for the better!

Also, I feel working alongside studying ACCA does contribute a lot to your personality as well as assisting in your career development. Working has given my communication skills a boost, and has also enabled me to approach situations, be it at work or with studies, with confidence. Maybe it was working in this particular environment with a strong support system and colleagues who were pursuing the same qualification, which enabled me to come such a long way with my ACCA studies. When you see your colleagues working alongside you and still passing their exams, it gives you just the boost you need to give it your best shot with each exam you attempt.

But sometimes I have seen colleagues so caught up with their schedules of studying and working that they do not have time for themselves, which I believe is just not right. Yes, it is tiring and frankly, a little crazy sometimes, trying to manage both these areas, but then that’s what makes life interesting!

I guess the key to effectively managing both these areas is to ensure that you enjoy yourself with whatever you are doing. Enjoy your work and keep yourself motivated when you go to work every morning, so that you give your best. Enjoy your studies, be curious, ask questions, gain knowledge for the sake of learning and not just to add 4 letters after your name. And above all, cherish yourself, take time out, indulge in hobbies you like, and make sure you live your life to the full!!

As they say, ‘You live this life only once!!’

And until the next time………Cheers.

by ACCA student blogger Elyse Burns-Hill

When you start the ACCA Qualification, you will make some sacrifices for a few years. How much of your time and energy is spent studying depends entirely on you and what you want out of this qualification.

Aim

Some students choose to aim high; they want to be a prize winner or at least get marks in the high 80s or 90s. These students are likely to spend hours practising and revising. They need to know all the little details to get those top prize winner marks.

Others (most of us) simply want to pass; which for us ACCA students is a 50% mark. If all you want to do is to qualify, then you can afford to put a little less time in. Don’t forget though, you do still need to show that you understand the work and are able to apply principles.

Aptitude

Our brains are all programmed slightly differently, which means we need to put in different levels of work to get the same result.

Some people prefer the numbers-based exams, others prefer word based. Depending on your strength, different amounts of time and practice will need to be put in.

Work

If you are working at the same time as studying, it’s hard to fit in the study around a normal working day. You need to find a timetable that works for you; if getting up an hour early works better than trying to concentrate in the evenings, then do that. It takes discipline, but the reward in the end is definitely worth the effort.

Relaxation time

Whatever your aim or aptitude, you still need to take time out. Make sure you take time to do things you love doing; going for dinner with friends, quiet night in with a movie and popcorn, or simply having a hot shower where everything outside the cubical just melts away.

By doing these things you allow your brain a period to re-energise and you remind yourself that there is something outside of your ACCA studies.

How do you balance life and work with your studies? Please share below.