How to balance full-time work with the Distance Learning MBA

23 May 2022

Distance Learning MBA participant, Samarth Dhariwal, shares his tips on how to balance working full-time alongside studying.

Pursuing an MBA and working full-time can be challenging. You need to constantly adapt and find a groove until you become an expert of multi-tasking and organisation. The key to getting through the challenges and obstacles in a fluidic way is flexibility. It is paramount, as flexibility is required from all elements of your life, and it begins with you as these elements need tweaking before they can all reach equilibrium.

A few tips that can help with leveraging elements of flexibility include:

  • Talk to your employer about your workload and craft a plan in collaboration with your colleagues so that you can have dedicated hours towards your studies. This plan will help with team dynamics at work as your team will be aware of your situation and be more willing to adapt. Furthermore, the majority of the employers nowadays encourage further education, so never hesitate to talk to your employer about being flexible towards dedicating time towards your educational goals. 
  • If you have family members in the same household, you should communicate your time commitments and reassess tasks and responsibilities at home while you are pursuing your studies or need to get through a crunch time for work or studying. Family is your biggest asset, and they will do everything in their control to be accommodating towards your needs and goals.
  • Core fundamentals include:
    • Create a plan - How you will tackle studies and work?
    • Commit to the plan – Stay disciplined towards the plan as you are responsible to stay on track
    • Deliver the plan – Dedicate hours on the weekend to stay track with the course
    • Evolve – Tweak the plan as per changing needs
  • Don’t try to tackle all tasks in one go, but instead break tasks into smaller sub tasks that are achievable within smaller time frames. Smaller tasks are easy to complete, and they reinstate a sense of accomplishment and help keep you on track.
  • As everyone’s lifestyles and routines are different, identifying and leveraging inefficient timeframes in your day and dedicating them towards your course work can be helpful. A good example would be to listen to your textbooks or lectures as audiobooks when you are working out or doing chores around the house. Furthermore, depending on your work setting you could also read small chunks of your course materials while commuting via public transport.
  • Enhance your multitasking and organisation skills by leveraging daily/weekly check lists to complete all items on your to do list. I recommend using the Whac-A-Mole game approach where each mole is considered a task and you should try hit the mole (task) right away so that everything doesn’t pile up for a later date.
  • Don’t forget to spend time with family and take extra care of your well-being by being flexible towards your family as well.

Flexibility is essential in all aspects of life no matter what an individual is pursuing. In our fast-paced lives we tend to forget that being flexible is something that’s in our control and it comes with numerous advantages that we must make use of.  When an individual portrays qualities of being flexible, the people around them at work, home and even in school acknowledge this quality and reciprocate the efforts to provide flexibility from their end to help out in any capacity. I believe that by enlisting a few of the suggestions listed above anyone can efficiently fit studying for an MBA in with work and other commitments.  

“Stay committed to your decision but stay flexible in your approach” – Tony Robbins

Find out more about the Distance Learning MBA programme here.

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