It is rare these days that people have a gap in their lives to fill with study.
This means that when you enrol for postgrad study, it is going to displace some things in your life. Just like any other undertaking, there is going to need to be a re-arrangement of the elements that make up your time.
- It is a situation that needs to be attacked from a few different angles at once in order to get through.
- If you are a timetable person, you will enjoy the process of getting together monthly or weekly plans, and possibly daily plans that come out of these. The key to getting these right is to include everything, and be realistic.
- Are you someone who has a work diary or electronic calendar, as well as one for your personal life? Or maybe you refer to a family calendar at home, to see when social commitments are coming up? Now is the time to have one combined plan that is for you only. Mark out all the commitments as they occur and as they overlap. Some people use different colours to mark work, study, family events etc. It doesn't really matter how simple or complex you make it, as long as everything is included.
- Before you can all your commitments, you need to acknowledge all that needs to be done and needs to occur. From this you can decide what actually needs to be done by you, and what you can delegate, or perhaps do without altogether.
- If you're the sort of person who doesn't enjoy being tied to a plan or timetable? Then try and modify this approach. It's likely that in order to get through, you will need to plan even if you don't enjoy it. But make it work for you - for example, include blocks of time that give you choices between tasks or activities. Deadlines will sometimes dictate what gets done first in an absolute way. But when they don't, you will at least feel some control over what you do and when.
- Most importantly, you must keep doing the things you really enjoy when you can. If you don't, it will be really difficult to keep going. There is much evidence to show that activities such as exercise and meditation are good for taking a break and feeling more relaxed. But don't do them if they're not your style. You know what makes you happy, so take rewards early and often!