I have learned a lot from my experiences in 2019. From gaining skills in business development when I took up a role with a start-up in the beginning of the year, to intense discipline and motivation to train in and complete the Bridge to Brisbane and feeding my passion for technology and returning to working in telecommunications by the second half of 2019.

It’s been a mix of ups and downs, but the ever-present learning about myself and how I could be ‘my best self’ was a theme that was interwoven throughout the year.

More than ever this year, I needed the skills I learned from the previous year, especially when it comes to time management.

Due to the fact that I had only recently returned to telecommunications and still requiring training for certain facets of the role, I am still an eager newbie at work working full time as I embark on my newest undertaking of studying my Masters of Teaching to teach secondary students, specialising in English Education and Social Science (History) as my subject areas.

This is the first time I am studying as an external student. I’ve done a lot of preparations for my new lifestyle, and I thought I’d share some tips for those who haven’t had to juggle work and study simultaneously for a while or those doing so for the first time.

As for me, I’ve done it before, but it has been a few years now. It certainly helps when compiling this list that I have completed postgraduate study as an internal student while working my regular hours.

This time around, that #can do spirit needs to be a bit higher as the study will be more intense.

  1. Ensure your study space is spacious (pun not intended) with great lighting and all the organising tools you need (folders, trays, stationery compartments etc). Nothing blocks inspiration or focus more than clutter and mess. If you will be spending hours in one place, make sure there’s no distractions from the glare of the sunlight.
  2. Make planners and diaries your best friend. I can’t stress this enough. Our mobile devices allow us to have these tools at the palm of our hands, but I find it quicker and easier to have pens at the ready to jot things down as they happen. Due dates can change and things become more urgent at different times, so make 2020 the year you actually properly use your planner and diary! (Note to self).
  3. Cut down on the socials. Yes, both social outings and social media. This particular tip I think I will find quite challenging but it is very necessary. It helps that back when I did my postgrad, social media was very much a part of people’s daily lives and simultaneously, it was hard to cancel catch-ups with friends I don’t see often from burying myself in the books. So the same challenges I overcame, I will face again. These activities can take too much out of your schedule and focus, so have them as rewards when you’ve completed a significant portion of work and need a break. You’ll thank yourself later.
  4. Eat healthy and exercise regularly. When the mind is working overtime, the body needs to support it too. While it’s tempting to snack on junk when spending hours completing assignments, start with making simple changes like replacing chips with fruits as snacks and always having water ready to consume effortlessly. I also find after exercising, I tackle study or assignments with a more energised and refreshed mind that works with double the speed.
  5. Actually enjoy what you’re studying! Always remembering why you’re choosing this lifestyle and sacrifice in the first place is a fantastic motivation to keep you going when you are feeling exerted. As nerdy as it sounds, my eyes sparkle and my heart sings when I dig deeper into my course readings and see the big picture from all the knowledge I gained so far. It is very satisfying.

I hope you all find these tips useful as we start the year and can still implement great habits and routine. I wish you all the very best in your endeavours.

Let’s make 2020 the best year yet.