Managing the work-life-study balance

If you have been considering postgraduate study or increasing your skillset with online short courses, don’t put it off any longer. There is never going to be a ‘perfect’ time to start. 

  1. Plan your pace
    Treat your study sessions like non-negotiable appointments — block out realistic study time in your calendar and stick to your plan.
  2. Plan for the unexpected
    Do your best to stick to the schedule you have set but allow yourself some wiggle room for when unexpected things pop up. Put in some extra time between tasks or assignments or write down some bullet points on how you will tackle a roadblock, such as the internet dropping out. Even the most carefully laid plans may go wrong when hit by a curveball.
  3. Bring your dead time back to life
    Study while you commute to work, while you are waiting for the pasta to boil, or while your child plays their weekly soccer game. You'll suddenly find a whole heap of extra time for productivity!
  4. Stop procrastinating
    When you log in, turn off all your notifications for non-essentials, such as email and social media, or other distractions that may compete for your attention. 
  5. Undertake the commitment to study with a friend or colleague
    Not only can this be motivating, learning from each other can be a great way to add depth to your knowledge.
  6. Study what you love
    Because in the words of Confucius, 'Choose a job that you love and you will never have to work a day in your life’.
  7. Plan your study area
    Studies have shown that an inviting, distraction-free study space can encourage you to work more and boost your mental efficiency. If you can, find a quiet area in your home free from distractions and full of natural lighting.
  8. Recount your information to others
    To help you make sense of what you just read, explain it to someone else, this could be your partner, child or pet. This will help you make sense of what you’ve read and highlight any areas you may need to work on. Software developers often practise ‘rubber ducking’ (aka explaining it to a rubber duck bath toy) as a method of debugging code.
  9. Don’t forget to take breaks
    This is very important. Taking a break will help keep you awake and focused. Get up from your desk and reward yourself with a healthy snack, a glass of water and make sure to stretch.
  10. Prepare your loved ones
    Postgraduate study is a commitment that is going to have an impact on those who love you, especially those who live with you. Make sure they are on board with your study plans and understand that whilst you are studying, your home might be a little less tidy, time with friends and family may need to wait till the end of the semester, and there may be a requirement for endless cups of tea!
  11. Plan to finish on a high note
    Book a holiday or something fun to look forward to after you finish exams. Always keep that end goal in mind and imagine how good it will feel receiving your certificate or diploma.
  12. Find the right institution to study with:
    At the Governance Institute, we are unrivalled in Australia for the depth of insights and level of practical application our courses provide. They're designed and taught by leading experts, industry practitioners and academics. You'll gain the specialist skills and knowledge you need to excel in your governance and risk management responsibilities.

Penelope Wakefield AGIA ACG, Governance, Risk and Compliance Consultant, Complispace, had this to say about how time studying with us:

'The team at Governance Institute of Australia were very accommodating and the guest lecturers brought life to the materials. The course was very practical — the things I learned, I was able to apply straight away in the workplace. The lecturers were all inspiring in their own ways, using their professional experiences as examples and the small class sizes were a great opportunity to build networks with people in different industries. These factors are essential for overcoming the barrier to study because in the end, it is what you get out of it that makes it all worthwhile.'

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