Juggling a full-time career alongside studying or training can be extremely difficult. That is before you add children and a relationship to the mix! There is no such thing as being too old to study, so get that idea straight out of your head too. Lockdown provides the perfect opportunity to reskill yourself and help with your professional development. Don’t let the thought of juggling studying with other responsibilities put you off studying. It can be an extremely rewarding process. Here are some of our top tips for those who have a busy schedule.
Block out your time
For many of us, if a task isn’t in our diaries, it simply won’t get done. If you are committing to distance learning then it is a really good idea to create a studying timetable. This should also include breaks too. If you block out hours upon hours of studying it is likely that you will lose motivation and not be productive. At least if you have a break to work towards you will dedicate the time to studying hard beforehand.
Be realistic when you draw up your schedule too, otherwise you will become disheartened if you don’t complete your course in the time you had allocated to it. It is a good idea to have a short break after you finish your full-time job and before you start your evening studying too, as your brain needs time to refocus.
Use your work breaks wisely
We don’t mean spend your entire lunch break studying, as that would be counterproductive. However, if you have an hour-long break, why not try splitting that into two. The first part could be where you eat your lunch and get some fresh air, and the second part could be used to read through course documents or proofread an assignment you have written.
The best part is you will be in a different environment from your usual place of study, so you may find your creative juices will flow better! If you can escape your workplace during your lunch break you may be surprised at just how much a change of scenery can help you focus.
Do you commute?
In the current climate, many of us are working from home so full-time work tends to blend in with studying. However, if you are still commuting to your place of work via public transport, make the most of this time to study. Or if you are driving to work, why not listen to a relevant podcast? Rather than wasting time on social media first thing in the morning, use this opportunity to catch up with your course tutor.
Learn to multi-task
As well as studying during your commute and your lunch break, there are lots of other opportunities during the day where you can spend a quick 5 or 10 minutes on your course. You could even ask your other half to quiz you whilst you are cooking dinner! Flashcards are also a great tool when it comes to studying. You can add short snippets of information to them and dot them around your house for you to read as you walk past.
Find a style that works for you
If you are new to learning or haven’t studied since you were at college or university, distance learning can feel a little daunting in comparison with regular learning. It is all about taking the time to figure out what is best for you as an individual. You may prefer to study first thing in the morning before you head to work, or you might find evenings are best.
As well as trialling different times to study, there are lots of techniques you can use too. You might learn more by watching videos, or you may be more of a note-taker. Everyone is a different type of learner, so take the time to work out what works for you.
Flexibility is key
Sometimes you may find yourself coming home after a stressful day at work and wanting nothing more than to jump in the bath and relax. That is completely fine, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up about it. There are going to be days when you either don’t feel like studying, or you have other commitments. Take an evening off and relax, just make sure that you get back on track the day after.
Here at Brooks and Kirk we offer a wide range of Assessor qualifications. If you would like any further information about the courses we provide, please give us a call on 01205 805 155.