If you’re considering further study, there’s every chance you already have a demanding career and busy life. For this reason, it’s often hard to imagine just how you’ll fit studying into your busy schedule. However, where there’s a will, there’s a way. So, if you are looking to develop your career through online study, here are some handy hints to make it work.
Think half-hourly, not weekly
With the study workload of a part-time student averaging up to 20 hours per week, it can feel like a challenge to fit those hours into a busy lifestyle. But if you start to break things down, online study can start to feel more attainable.
Instead of thinking about how you’ll fit 20 hours into your week, consider how you’ll fit half an hour into your morning, afternoon and evening.
Taking this approach is not only more manageable, but it will help you study better. Research shows that half-hour blocks of study actually help your brain process information more effectively than longer sessions.
Make the most of your commute
If you’re wondering where you’ll find time for a couple of half-hour sessions per day, one of the best answers is to do so on your commute. With many Australians spending more than 90 minutes commuting to and from work, your public transport trip can be the ultimate time to catch up on study.
Outsource wherever possible
The digital era has presented the busy professional with a swathe of easy options for outsourcing, so if you plan to study, it’s time to take advantage of them.
There’s not much you can’t outsource these days, and it’s cheaper than you think. For example, if you find cooking too time-consuming, consider easy meal preparation services. These offer family-friendly, healthy options for busy professionals and are often the same, if not more cost-effective, than a regular supermarket shop for similar items.
It’s also easy to outsource other domestic tasks, with services for cleaning and odd jobs available via community ad boards or general domestic service apps and sites. You can even outsource walking your dog, mowing your lawn, re-cabling your electronics – anything you can think of you can more than likely be outsourced.
Strive for work-life harmony (not necessarily balance)
Esteemed entrepreneur, professor, philanthropist and former chairman of Harvard Business Publishing, Howard Stevenson, has some sobering advice for high-achievers and that is ‘you can’t have it all.’ His advice isn’t as discouraging as it might seem.
Instead of striving for work-life balance, he insists that you strive for work-life harmony. What this essentially means is that it’s OK to accept that, at some stages of life, you’ll need to focus your energy on some things and not others.
As long as you consider your pursuits worthwhile, he says, the ‘opportunity cost’ of missing out on certain things will be outweighed by the benefit of participating in others, so you’ll find harmony, even if you don’t have the perfect balance.Practically, this means you may have to sacrifice some leisure time in the short run, but in the long run it will be worthwhile.