‘I just don’t have the time!’ – the battle cry of the time poor.
This wail is usually met with a chipper: ‘Everyone has the same 24 hours, it’s how you use them that counts’.
Isn’t it patronising to assume that you want to spend every waking hour fulfilling dreams and aims? Let’s be realistic here, most of us finish work, eat tea, perhaps work out, fulfill family obligations, pick up a little more work in the evening and then relax. For about a nanosecond.
Adding studying into the mix – well, for many it’s a recipe for disaster. Many of us feel that we simply don’t have the time. It’s perfectly understandable, given the responsibilities and pressure that we are all under.
But Team Condescending may be right: we all do have the same 24 hours in the day, and how we use this time is critical.
Many of us say that we want to progress, develop and become more knowledgeable. Part of the human condition is aspiration and growth, after all. Further study gives many a sense of achievement, a sense of development, a sense that they are succeeding in their field, or at least putting down the building blocks to that success.
Still dont have the time?
You do. You just don’t know it yet.
1. Planning is important
Yes it’s a cliché, it’s important – nay, crucial – that you plan your studies well in advance. Looking at a calendar or daily planner and physically seeing what spare time you have to dedicate to study is the deciding factor in your quest to pursue a professional qualification.
2. Inform your employer
Studying for a professional qualification, like the an ICA qualification, is of huge benefit to you. Yes, of course we’re going to say that, but let's be frank, it’s not just you that benefits from our qualifications. Your employer does too. You come into work bursting with excitement, flush with your new-found knowledge on all things regulatory compliance and you’re eager to put them into play. Who else benefits from your expertise? Your wider team, your boss and the firm as a whole. Depending on the company culture, you may be allowed some flexibility while you study and work.
3. Use your free time in a constructive, planned way
A spare hour before bed: studying or the ironing? We’d rather put our nose in a book any time! Everyone has a couple of hours on the evening. Even just reading a couple of blogs on the subject matter, or a chapter of your study manual can enhance the way that you learn.
4. Always make time for down-time
All work no play blah blah blah. There is nothing more demotivational than simply churning through work. Take time to do the things that you love.
No need to tell us twice! Sleep is essential for your overall health and wellbeing but it’s also important for your overall concentration and productivity. Your cognition and performance is greatly enhanced by a decent night's sleep.
6. Find your studying comfort zone
Throwing yourself into studying for the first week, and doing nothing for the second does not make for a constructive study experience. Finding your comfort zone (dare we say sweet spot?) will have far-reaching, positive consequences on your student experience.
7. Focus on the outcomes
Dare we be candid for a moment? Studying is not for everyone. We get it. Some people (like your author) relish the opportunity to learn, study, avoid the ironing and get her nose stuck in a book. For others, it’s a necessary evil – and that's where the excuses come in like ‘I don’t have time’. Focus on the outcomes of studying; a qualification that showcases your skills and expertise. What comes with this? Hopefully, a pay rise, promotion or even a new job. Studying is tough but the rewards are bountiful.
8. Time your holidays
If you’re committed to your studies, and you want to attain a top notch pass rate, it may be worth looking at timing your annual leave around key study dates. You don't have to take your summer holiday under the cloak of darkness with only a pad full of notes as your companion, but you do need to consider how you are going to leverage your time off to help you fulfill your obligations as a student.
9. Commuting is king
The most mundane of journeys can be made marginally better by reading a book. Our recommendation? Your study manual.
10. Make compromises
Binge watching box sets on Netflix, or laying down the foundations to your future? Yep. We know which one is the more sensible choice. Life is all about compromises. And only one of these activities is truly going to benefit you in the long-term.
Studying is hard work, but the results are worthwhile. We love to hear your success stories. Still not sure what qualification is right for you? Head over to Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook and talk to us using the hashtag #ICTViews.
International Compliance Training is the primary and longest established training partner of the ICA.
ICA qualifications are a globally recognised benchmark of competence & excellence in the fields of anti money laundering (aml), compliance and financial crime prevention. There are courses to suit all levels of knowledge and experience.
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