1. Accept that you won’t want to study:
Random though it might sound, this was actually a major break through for me. Before I started my diploma I had such notions about it..honestly I thought I would breeze through it. I had only been out of university for a year and a half and thought I would bounce back into studying. What a joke! Now looking back I can’t believe I was so naive and just a bit thick really. You need to accept that after a full day at work, the last thing you will want to do is come home and study. All you will want to do is put your jimjams on, eat dinner and lie down. Trust me, I know.
2. Break up the time:
Once I accepted that studying was awful, I realised that actually if I broke down the time between assignment due dates, I actually didn’t need to study every single night and could organise study time where it suited me best. For example, I quickly realised that studying at 9pm with a hot chocolate was getting me absolutely nowhere, but knew that if I was alone at work for an hour I could actually push through and get a lot done. I started enjoying my evenings but forcing myself to do a couple of solid hours every weekend instead and this worked out much better for me. Breaking the tasks down by week also helped me as at least I felt I was gaining momentum towards a finish line.
3. Meeting rooms are your friend:
You need to be alone. Honestly, think of studying as another job you need to do. If there is a way of booking a meeting room at work during lunch or for an hour after work, look into it. Often I do more in an hour than I would in a day. There’s something about a small deadline, whether it be someone knocking as they’ve booked the room for 7 or the official deadline, they just keep you on your toes.
4. Submit drafts:
For CIM, you get to submit drafts as you do your project work to ensure you’re on the right track. My advice here is to get your draft in as early as possible. Rightly or wrongly, you just get more attention from the lecturer and can get a better understanding of how to increase marks as a result. I know there always seems to be loads of time to get a draft in, but definitely aim to get it off your desk at least a week before it needs to be submitted. There’s nothing wrong with being early…in fact the lecturer will love you for it!
5. Acknowledge your success:
Other people won’t actually care about your diploma or studies (unless they are paying for it!). It’s just another thing you do for or alongside your job so you’ll get little sympathy for the stress and effort..in fact you’ll just get a lot of people asking you why you’d go back and study more, haha! Don’t heed these people, it is a huge achievement to get every assignment in and still show up to work every day. The stress of it is real and will take it’s toll on you but it will be worth it in the end. Be sure to book yourself in for a fancy lunch or even buy yourself a little gift after it’s all completed to acknowledge the work you’ve put in. So often we get obsessed with building our CVs up and just trying to push ahead in the workplace but actually sometimes it is even more important to give yourself a pat on the back and for you to know that when you put your mind to something, you can some out the other side!
Funnily enough, now I have been away for the whole weekend, I actually have to go to work alone and..you guessed it, study! Let me know if you find it hard to balance working full time and studying too?