I’ll start with the first, very obvious one of time management. I say obvious but, very often, this is the one that lets most people down. Life happens, work happens, and unfortunately if you haven’t scheduled time and kept to it, your studying won’t happen. Managing your time and balancing your life is a very careful traipse act. You have to make peace with late nights and early mornings and always try to be ahead of your schedule with assignments and project. You need to remember to balance this out with time for yourself, family and friends so that you don’t start to resent your decision to further your education.
Pace yourself, if you are worried about work commitments and responsibility, I suggest that you should start small, take a few modules at first and when you feel more confident then you can take on more. There will always be times when work and study deadlines overlap or clash but if you keep to your schedule and stay calm, you will not be overwhelmed.
Stay organised! It’s very easy to get organised, we buy a diary, clear a study area, sharpen our pencils and off we go however staying organized is a lot harder than people think. Before to start, create a learning process for yourself, one that is not too complicated and one that you can easily stick to. Keeping to good habits like making notes, writing to do lists, sticking to scheduled times, setting reminders for to-do items, colour coding areas or difficulty of topics all help with staying organized and on track.
Get enough rest: Studies show a positive relationship between students’ results and how much sleep they’re getting. However, this doesn’t only mean getting a full 8 hours of sleep before a big assessment or project but rather getting enough sleep for several nights before you do the bulk of your studying.
Choose a study method that works for you and stick to it. It’s much easier to retain information when you know “how” to learn. Find the way that best suits your nature and way of understanding, be it summary notes, diagrams, reading aloud or mind mapping. The Feynman Technique is an efficient method of learning a concept quickly by explaining it in plain and simple terms.
Lastly, Keep work in the loop. Regularly communicate your journey with your supervisor, manager or boss, will make your work life a little less stressful. Let them know when you are coming up to exams, big assignments or projects so that they are well informed about where you are at in your journey and how to best assist you in making it a success.
Going back to studying or starting a new learning journey can be tricky but with discipline, determination and dedication you can make it work. Remember to take care of your mental, physical and emotional health. Take a break when you need it and learn to enjoy a nap from time to time. Ask for help when you need it, even if that help is just a hug.
Keep the end result in mind. The effort will be worth your while.
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