Archives For work study balance

Image

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!

by ACCA student blogger Pantelis Fouli

This is always a challenge, especially if you work a full-time job that is demanding. The way I see it, each situation has its positive attributes. This positive pressure at work can actually assist you with your studies.

Each evening before I leave work, I take a piece of A4 paper and divide it into 3 sections: morning, lunchtime and afternoon. I plan my tasks for the day, so that my plan is ready in the morning when I arrive at work. I also try to start my tasks ahead of my scheduled deadline date, so I need to plan for that as well. I also assume that I may need more time on some tasks, so I would need to allocate a bit of extra time for the more demanding tasks.

You should notice a similar pattern here with your studies. I treat both parts the same. It’s the same discipline. It’s the same methodology of planning for your studies and sticking to your study and revision time table. At work, the same way you would pencil in your lunch break, you would also pencil in your study programme, your rest period, or even your day of rest.

Lots of people throw out there terms like ‘just do it’, or ‘get the job done’, be it about our studies, work or personal life; but few offer practical solutions. This A4 sheet of paper can be extended to a weekly plan as well. Apart from having my daily plan at work, I have my five-day plan also, and the same method applies to my studies; it’s the same principle.

Personally, I thrive on the positive pressure work puts me under. It forces me to come up with practical solutions that enable me to get better results, with as few errors as possible, in the least amount of time.

Planning study reminds me of the story of the dog and three cats. One day a dog spotted a cat and started to run after it and after some time, it spotted a second cat. So it left cat number 1 and started chasing cat number 2. Not long after that, it spotted a third cat. So it left cat number 2 and started chasing cat number 3. At the end of the day the dog was asked, ‘How was your day?’ He replied, ‘Ever so tiring, I never stopped.’ Then he was asked ‘How productive was it?’ The dog then answered, ‘Not at all!’

Let us plan – and chase after only one cat, one cat (goal) at a time.

Till next time!