3 Keys to Studying as a Working Professional

In my first post, I mentioned that I am not completely settled in my career. I am happy where I am, but there are places where I can improve. And, as it turns out, I have found a way to improve that will open up opportunities for me in the future. So, I’m working on doing that. I am taking a certificate course.

The thought of doing coursework while working a full-time job can sometimes feel overwhelming. But, I did it for years, and just signed myself up to do it again. So, it is definitely possible. Below are my three keys for working a full-time, professional job, and completing a course or degree at the same time.

  1. Find time wherever you can. I have been dedicating my mornings to working on the blog. This is the productive – get something done – step of my morning routine. For more information on that check out my last post. I plan my course around my partner’s schedule, if he is working an evening shift I work on my course as much as possible, so when he’s off earlier I can spend more quality time with him.
  2. Make your course as accessible and flexible as possible. If you can do certain aspects of your course on your phone while commuting or taking your lunch break, do it. Read course related materials on the go. When I was a full-time student in school (and working a full-time job), I would read my school materials from my phone and dictate my notes to the Evernote app, this was especially good for English Literature courses. I maybe looked a little crazy, walking around the world talking to myself, but this was truly a fast way to work. Then when I got home, my reading was done, I just had to organize my notes and get started on my assignments and quizzes or studying. Make notes in a smaller notebook, it will be easier for you to take around. At the moment, the course I am taking is 100% online. It’s also 100% web-based which makes doing work on the go a little bit more challenging. That said, the course has a few recommended readings, that are usually articles in PDF form, so when those come around, they are downloaded to my drive and read on the go.
  3. Otherwise, this all boils down to time management. The first step, for me, is to find out how much time it takes to make progress in your course. For example, my course is broken down into lessons. Each lesson consists of several modules, which are just lengthy information dumps. Then, you have five assignments and one quiz. I know that each module takes between 5-20 minutes to get through depending on how long it is. I also know that each assignment takes between one or two hours, give or take. Once I have that information, I sit down with my planner, the course outline and I jot down my goals for the week. Taking into account my own schedule, work tasks, personal tasks, and my partner’s schedule, so I can maximize my time with him as well. Plan your time out well, and stick to that plan. Use techniques like calendar blocking to manage your time or pomodoro. Use strategies like the Eisenhower Matrix to prioritize what needs to be done now. Do what matters most and is the quickest to do first. Do what matters most and is the longest to do next. Do your work-work first and your studying later, but make sure you find time for it.

These are my three keys to studying while working full-time position, I hope they help you with working out how to better manage taking a course while working. Sometimes, it can be really discouraging and it can feel like you don’t have enough time in a day or week to get things done. When this happens, it’s a good idea to step back and reflect on what is truly important and focus your time and energy on that.

There are a lot of strategies and tools out there that can help you maximize your time and productivity. Phone apps, philosophies, planners, and much more!

Stay tuned if you want to see more about managing your time and increasing productivity and the tools that can help you do that. I have posts planned on planners (no pun intented), Getting Things Done, Eisenhower’s matrix, Pomodoro technique, and more!

Thanks for reading folks! As Disney once said, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing”. So, go start doing!


5 Things You Need to Do Every Morning to Increase Productivity!

How you spend your mornings is so important to setting the tone for the rest of the day. This is why it is a good idea to get a productive start and thrive on that momentum.

Below is a list of 5 easy things you can do to help achieve a sense of accomplishment in the morning and set yourself up for a prodcuvitve day.

  1. Drink a glass of water and eat a small meal or snack (unless your an intermittent faster or not into breakfast – but the water is a must). Drinking water quenches your thirst after 6-10 hours of being dehydrated from sleeping and, not drinking water. Your body and brain will be pleased with you. You will defog your brain and switch over to a high alert mode.
  1. Do a mind sweep or a brain dump. It is hard to be productive when you have a list of to-dos and reminders swirling around in your mind. Start your morning by sitting down with your beverage of choice and your favourite notepad, and jot down pretty much everything that comes to mind. You want to empty out your brain. As soon as you get something on paper, your brain will ease up on the constant reminder, because you have implemented a fail-safe to avoid forgetting.
  2. Set your intentions for the day. Now, exchange that notepad for your planner, phone app, journal, or whatever it is that you use to plan out your day. Setting your intentions for the day will increase the chance that you will do what you set out to do. Avoid making a long list of chores for yourself, your list should be attainable. I usually set out a maximum priority task, along with 2-3 high priority tasks. Your maximum priority task should be the unmissable task of the day, the task that, if completed, you will feel like you did what you needed to do today.
  1. Get something done first thing (even if it’s small) in the morning to get your momentum going. This could be literally anything! Work on a personal development course, read a book, listen to a podcast, work on your side hustle, learn a new language or skill, clean, workout … literally, anything. This will make you feel productive and will inspire you to keep chopping away at your priority to-do list.
  2. Do something that makes you happy. It’s a good idea to make sure you start the day off with something that makes you happy – this will contribute to attaining your perfect work-life balance and will make it so that you are looking forward to your mornings as opposed to dreading them and hitting the snooze button a hundred times. Small enjoyable things you can do in the morning can be, putting on your makeup, listening to music, hugging a loved one, snuggling a fur baby or whatever else puts a smile on your face.
This is me snuggling with the pooch! The snuggles started my morning off right!

Mornings can oftentimes be stressful. But, if you give yourself enough time to get ready for the day and do these 5 things every morning to maximize your productivity, you will find mornings can actually be quite enjoyable.

Is there anything that you do daily that contribute to your productivity? Let us know in the comments below!