Deciding to study for an MBA while working full-time means that you will gain a world renowned qualification, a whole array of transferable skills and a priceless network of contacts that you will be able to use throughout your career. However, some people worry about whether they will be able to juggle study, work and their personal life.
However, as this article will show, working towards your qualification while balancing your job and personal life doesn’t have to be a struggle.
1. Communicate openly with your employees and managers
Before starting an MBA, ensure that you have an open dialogue with the people you work with, including your managers and the employees you manage. While studying, your managerial skills will improve over the course of the programme, but there may be periods of time where you will have to work on an assignment or spend some time at an event. It’s important to let the people you work with know about this and to make them aware of study plans and deadlines.
This way, you can ensure your colleagues know that you are prioritising your time. If they have prior warnings and know when you will be occupied, they will be able to support the commitment you have made. After all, the knowledge you gain will be beneficial to their business..
2. Plan, plan, plan
Once you decide to start an MBA course, you need to get organised. Find out your course timetables, your deadlines and the dates of any events. As well as this, consider any social or work commitments, and plan your study time around them, making sure you have enough time to offer 100% in all areas.
Set aside some time each week to plan and prioritise your work properly and don’t leave things to the last minute. Plan the research, writing, subbing and editing part of each assignment, and always overestimate how much time you’ll need. Utilising your time is the best way to ensure you have a strong balance between work and study.
3. Seek advice
While studying for an MBA, you will have access to a whole network of fellow professionals studying towards their qualification. Each one will have experience in balancing studying with working and keeping enough time for their home life.
Don’t hesitate to seek the support of your classmates and mentors. They will have gone through, or be going through, the same thing as you, and may be able to give you some key advice
4. Don’t forget to put time aside for your family
It’s important to focus your time and energy on your work and studying, but neglecting your social life is incredibly detrimental. Ensure that you make time to see your loved ones, and never feel guilty for making sure that your busy schedule includes social time.
Relaxing and taking your mind off both work and studying will benefit your mental health and enjoying the moments with your nearest and dearest is good for your moral, will help you feel relaxed, and is important for keeping your priorities in order.
5. Strive for a healthy lifestyle
Maintaining a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and keeping active helps to ensure that your physical and mental health is in order, can improve your concentration and helps with productivity. Combining these behaviours can help you to significantly improve your work life balance.
Prepping healthy meals, fitting in regular exercise (this can be as simple as talking the dog for a walk or doing a quick yoga session) and planning for six to eight hours of sleep a night will make more of a difference than you can imagine. A healthy lifestyle will help you to improve all aspects of your life, and ensure that you are working to your best capacity.
Managing both personal responsibilities and work when studying for an MBA can be tough, but with the correct planning, help from, those around you and taking the time to lead a healthy lifestyle, you’ll not only balance your time efficiently, but will develop time management skills that can be used throughout your career.
It can fit around you
Fitting in the time to study for an MBA around your current lifestyle can be easily done if your prepare. Considering that once you complete your MBA, you experience benefits such as higher salary prospects, better career opportunities, highly developed skills in leadership and management and a far reaching network of business contacts, the commitment is more than worth it.
It’s still not too late to enroll in an MBA course. If you’re looking for a new challenge in 2017, check out How an MBA will help your career and find out what funding options you have open to you in our MBA Funding Guide.