Studying While You Work - How To Plan Your Studies

 Studying While You Work – How To Plan Your Studies 


Studying whilst also maintaining your work life can be a real juggle. We get it - The struggle is REAL !!  We have brainstormed a few great ideas on how to plan your studies around your work/life so you can study when and where you want .

 Since that's what Online Education is really about !! 


To keep up with changes in the modern world, get a new job, a new promotion, start a new career or a new business, it is sometimes important to take a course.

Many people are now choosing to study by online learning to fit their course more easily into their work and personal life.

When you are working at the same time as studying, it can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming.


Why are you studying?

The most important thing to remember when deciding to do a course is WHY you are doing it.  If you are doing it for promotion, to start a new job, for interest, to update your knowledge, whatever your reason, keep that it mind.

It is easy to give up studying when it gets too difficult to fit in around day to day life, but bearing in mind why you are studying can really help to keep you focussed.


Study Planning Tips

Everyone is different. What works for one student will not work for another, so let’s look at some tips on how to plan your studies around your work and personal life.


Plan Ahead

Some people are very good at planning ahead when to study.

Emma wanted to do a course to improve her job prospects. She got up every day at 7 to get ready for work. She decided instead that she would get up at 5am and study for two hours and then get ready. She did this five days a week until she finished the course.

Not everyone wants to get up a 5am every day, but looking at your life and thinking when you can fit in your studies is useful. For example, every Tuesday, you might spend the evening watching TV. You might decide to study then instead until you complete the course.

Terry’s children were all in their late teens and would often stay in bed until noon at the weekend. Terry found that she still woke up at her normal time of 7am, so she decided to study every Sunday from 7 – 12, so she could study in peace and without distractions.


Plan Weekly -  Download a copy of our FREE Weekly Planner to assist you . 

Not everyone can study like Emma or Terry.  It is quite easy to start a course and think, I am going to study every Saturday afternoon until I finish. Then you find that out that next Saturday, you are out with a friend. The following week, you need to do some food shopping and so on. Planning weeks ahead can be difficult and will probably mean that your plans to study get changed or cancelled.

So, try to plan weekly.

Once a week, perhaps on a Sunday, look at the week ahead.

Look at where you could fit in some study. For example, say you have a quiet week, so could do Saturday afternoon and Tuesday and Thursday evening.

The following week, Saturday may be busy, but perhaps you could do Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evening


We have made a FREE downloadable Weekly Planner for you to download and print off . Just click below to download and save .  



Think about How Often You Want To Study

Some students might want to study in longer chunks.  They might want to study once a week for 4 hours and that’s it. Another student might find that it suits them to study 30 minutes a day. Or an hour three times a week. We are all different, so it is finding out what suits you. If you are not sure, come up with an idea, then try it. If it doesn’t work after a couple of weeks, try something else.


How Long to Study

Research suggests that most students can study effectively for 6 – 7 hours a day.  This is, of course, not that simple. Studying for 6 – 7 hours all at once will most likely not be effective. You will no doubt get tired, hungry or distracted in some way. It is hard to sit for six or seven hours and solidly focus on your studies.

Other research suggests that studying for one hour then taking a break is the optimal level of studying. It gives us time to really look at the topic we are covering, without us getting bored or distracted.


When thinking how long you will study, take this into account.

  • Plan to study in smaller chunks of one hour. Then take a break.
  • If you plan to study more than one hour a day. Break it up. Study for one hour, take a break, study for the next hour, take a break and so on.
  • Don’t try to sit there solidly for six or seven hours. You may study for that long, but it probably won’t be great studying as you will most likely find it hard to continually study and take in information for that long.


One Question at a Time

Some people do not like to study for a set period of time, they might find other methods more suitable. Depending on the type of course you are doing, you may be able to break your course down into chunks. 


How do you eat an elephant ?   One bite at a time !!   

Which sounds crazy but in reality means simply start and take small bites at your study one bit at a time.  


For example, you might decide to study a lesson a week.

Or answer a question a week.

Louise was studying a course in nutrition. At the start of the course, she looked how many questions were in the course. There were 39. She decided to read the relevant notes and answer one question a week, so completed the course in 39 weeks.   


Studying on the Fly

Some people might want to study in a different way. They might like to study as and when they can. For example, Jake finds it hard to sit down and study, so he studies when he can. For example, two or three times a week he has to catch the train for 30 minutes. He studies on the train. Sometimes he decides to go to a late night coffee shop and study. Other times, he pops in the library to study. Occasionally, he goes to work half an hour early and sits and studies for that half an hour. He studies when and where he can. He sometimes studies in his lunch break.


Think of all the times you could study, such as –

  • Lunch breaks
  • Get to work half an hour early
  • On the train or bus
  • Waiting for kids while they are in an activity
  • Get up a bit earlier than normal or go to bed a bit later

This may seem a bit random, but actually it is a form of planning as you are thinking when you can study to fit in with your life.


Shift Workers

Shift workers may find it hard to plan their studying because they work different shifts weekly. Earlier, we mentioned about planning on a weekly basis. Why not look at your shifts for the week ahead, then plan your studies around your shifts?


Too Tired

 Sometimes you might just be too tired to study. A busy day at work, sorting out children, tidying the house, going to the gym, whatever your reason, it might just be too much to study. If you are tired, you are probably not going to be at your best.

Perhaps –

  • Study for a shorter period eg. half an hour instead of two hours.
  • Leave studying until you feel a bit more awake.
  • Take a nap, then do some studying.


Don’t Criticise Yourself

Life sometimes gets in the way. You might feel worn out, be ill, have to go to an unexpected event or meeting, or simply not want to study that day. That is the way life is. If you have not been able to study as planned, do not beat yourself up. Dust yourself off and start again the next time you planned.


Do not try to catch up. Say you had a cold and missed your planned four hours of studying for that week. Don’t try to do eight next week. It puts more pressure on yourself, makes it harder and means you are less likely to catch up as much as you want to. This is when students can start to drop out of courses. They put more and more pressure on themselves to do what they want to do, but it means that it can become too much.


As we said, dust yourself off and start again.


It is important to have a plan for your studies. Whether you plan weeks ahead or only a few days ahead. If you do not have a plan, you may find it hard to keep on track with your studies.


Remember, WHY  you want to study, WHAT your goal is and PLAN to keep on track and achieve that goal.


If you are thinking of studying –

  • For interest
  • To get a new job
  • To get a promotion
  • To update your knowledge
  • To start a new career
  • To start a new business
  • Or just because you want to


Why not have a look at our wide range of online courses in subjects such as  Horticulture Therapy  , Animal Health Care , Copywriter  


Chat for FREE  to one of experienced Course Counsellors who can help you choose the best course for your needs .  


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