6 tips for studying smarter when you’re a parent

Posted in Careers.

Mum and baby studying

Becoming a parent is all about new beginnings – a new life comes into this world and a new (bigger!) family is created!

These new beginnings can lead you to thinking about other things you’d like to create anew in your life. Maybe you’d like to try your hand at a new skill or maybe you’re even thinking about changing career or completing a course you started but didn’t quite finish.

If your something new involves study, then congratulations! It is an exciting time, but much like parenting it can also feel a little daunting (what, with all that free time you have and everything!)

Setting yourself up for success is all about getting the right things in place from the start. So here are our 6 top tips for making sure you study smarter. And here’s to all the new things in your life.

1.Get your family on board

Family support

It may feel like an individual pursuit, but studying is definitely a team sport. Family is always number one, so talk to the most important people in your life first. Tell them about your exciting new commitment and seek their support. Then when they offer to help, say yes please!

2. Find the course that’s right for you

Mum making study choices

Where are you at in your life? Are you looking for a new hobby? To finish your high school certificate? Or taking on a new career? Knowing where you want to go will help you make the decision on which course is best for you right now.

And there has never been a better time to be thinking about this! There are just so many options for studying now – from traditional classes through to the myriad of online options. If you want to simply dip your toe in, consider one of the many free courses now available from sites like Coursera or edX.

3. Find the time


If the term “free time” sounds like a foreign language, you are not alone. Now is the time to make friends with scheduling and find the time you need to get your study done. And we mean honest, realistic scheduling that takes into account ALL of your commitments.

Using a tool specially designed for this purpose, like Monash University’s Study Planner, will help you find those pockets of time to fit your study in. You can pop in all of your existing commitments like family time, your commute to work and “me time” (that’s important too!)

Then, Study Planner will magically populate your personalised plan for you. You can shift things around until you’re happy, then, print it out and pop it up on the fridge for everyone to see.

4. Free up that time

Mum studying with laptop

Now that you’ve found the time for study in your day, you need to make the most of it. We may be super-parents, but studying with our little people running around may be trying to stretch those superpowers just a little too far.

So, think about the help you may need with looking after your children. Knowing that your kiddos are being well looked after will give you the peace of mind that you need to focus on your study.

Course timetables can be pretty ad hoc, so traditional day care may or may not be the best option. And don’t forget to look ahead – when might you need extra help from babysitters, friends or family?

5. Create your study space

Creating a study space
There is a time and a place for everything, so they say. Well “they” were right. Creating a designated place for studying will make an enormous difference to how you study. It will help you to get in the zone and limit some of the approximately 952 distractions waiting in your non-study life.

It could be the office at home, the local library or even just a chair in the corner of your bedroom – just make sure it works for you. Then, claim it as your study space!

6. Study smart

Mum with lightbulb ideas learning

Do you love listening to lectures? Or are you the person with reams of notes and 15 different coloured highlighters? When you are tight for time, every second counts. So make sure your maximise your education energies by learning in the way that is best for you.

There are plenty of online resources that help you to self-assess how you work best, whether it is visually, aurally or experientially. Then, look out for tips on how to structure your study so it is most effective for your style. This is all about getting bang for your study buck!

(This is a sponsored post)

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