This is a sponsored post for Open Training Institute.
I’d like to say I’ve always been disciplined when it comes to study. I enjoy it and it comes easily – so it was rarely a problem fitting it in all those years when I was younger. Nowadays with so much on my plate, it has required a bit of juggling and specific blocks of time to ensure I’m able to get to it. I feel so damn good when I do though, (like exercise!), so while a schedule isn’t something I’ve followed regularly before, taking a few minutes to scribble down a brief one before the day begins has made a world of difference.
I’ve been studying a Certificate IV in Marketing with Open Training Institute, and this is how I did it (hell, am still doing it!):
Making the most of finding pockets of time
At the end of the week (and sometimes even Monday morning, although that’s not optimal), I would have a look at my upcoming calendar. Who’s going where, what needs to be done, and what are the times Matt is home. I have found that the more intentional I am at finding an hour or so to get some study done, the more likely I am to stick to it. It sounds weird to say “I’ll study for an hour at 4pm on Thursday”, but it works.
Making the most of being at the computer anyway
The girls are at day care on Mondays and Fridays, and I work from home those Mondays. I try to fit in as much computer time on those days as I can so I’m on my laptop for minimal periods the rest of the time. While most of those days are dedicated to paid work, I’ve set aside an hour on some of them to get a good portion of study done. This works best when I’ve got a big assignment to do that requires research and a bit of quiet to think.
Making the most of nights alone
Oh god this sounds super anti-social, but it can be very useful! I try not to be on my laptop at night after dinner for many reasons, but the biggest one is that I just don’t want to be. But life doesn’t always work that way, and I do find sometimes I need to get a few things done before the next day. I almost always do this on a night that my husband is out so I don’t cut into our quality time. I’m not a big TV watcher, and I normally am just reading when he’s out. If there’s work that needs to be done, I’ll do it then, and I’ll try and knock over a quick module too while I’m there. Shut up, it’s actually fun!
Making the most of kids activities
This isn’t one I choose often, but if the girls are happily playing together, or they’re watching a show they love, sometimes I’ll sit near them and do a module. Especially when they say “sit with me!” and it’s an episode of Peppa Pig you’ve seen eight billion times. When they ask what I’m doing, I say “I’m learning!” and then they want to “learn” too, which is really cute. Then they fight over my laptop, which is less cute. I’ve just found this cool list of activities for kids to do where they can sit by you while you work, and will be giving them a go.
Making the most of kid-free time
I’m not going to lie, usually when the kids head out somewhere with their dad I sit down with a cup of tea and a magazine on the iPad. Occasionally, though, I am productive, and I’ll devote some of that time to studying in the peace and quiet. By the time they come back, I can tell them everything they’ve ever wanted to know about customer service data analysis.
Making the most of ebb and flow
Some weeks I’ll have a pristine carpet, all the washing done, and no study. Some weeks I’ll power through study amid dirty dishes and an unmade bed. Not every week is the same, and I like to take advantage of motivation and time when I have it. My husband is pretty hands-on with housework, so he steps up a bit when my attention is elsewhere. If only I could get him to do my assignments!
So basically, it’s a little bit taking advantage of time when I have it, and a little bit being proactive about making the time. I’d like to know, though – how do you fit it in? Tell me EVERYTHING!