As some of you will be aware, during December I was working on my first assignment for my Diploma in Digital Marketing, which I submitted just a week ago. The WORST possible time to doing extra work on top of your day job, with Christmas parties, drinks and festive activities being planned. It isn’t easy writing 4,000 words as well as working 8 hours a day in the office, so I wanted to share some things that I found useful incase anyone else is thinking of doing the same, currently struggling or planning to do an extra qualification in the future…
|Funky Highlighters and Stationery can make working much nicer|
Know when you work best; I find I’m much better at working earlier in the morning. So I planned to get up early when I could, head to work and find a quiet spot to work between 8-9am on my assignment. If you work better late at night, then make the most of this too.
Plan plan plan; planning helps you manage your time much better, especially so your life doesn’t become consumed by your work and you do have time to spend with your friends/family/boy/girlfriend. Try using a calendar on your laptop/email or draw one out on a4 pieces so you can see the full amount of time you have before your deadline(s).
|Plan when you’re going to work and have fun|
Regular breaks; research shows that our average attention span is just 5minutes. No wonder we get bored when writing essays and working on long pieces of work. Give yourself a deadline to have a break, perhaps a coffee (and a cake) or a walk to get your interest going again.
Get a support buddy; if there is someone working on the same course as you, even better. If not, don’t despair, you just need a motivational colleague or friend who will encourage you when you’re not feeling inspired. Someone that can say “c’mon you can do it”, even when you think that you can’t.
Plan things to look forward to; working on weekends becomes the norm when writing assignments and projects; not something everyone is used to. If you plan to work the majority of Saturday, plan something fun with friends in the evening so you’ve got activities to look forward to, plus it’ll act as a great reward for all that hard work during the day.
|Winter Wonderland – something I had to look forward to one Saturday evening|
Grammar & Spell check; ask a friend to check your work before you submit it. Spelling mistakes, sentences that don’t make sense and US versions of words in the UK aren’t ideal. A sense check is key too, does it flow, have you got any missing words or references?
Know your deadline; might seem obvious but there’s nothing worse than an assignment deadline sneaking up on you and then a few days of panicked and stressed work. Plan upto the point of your deadline, adding in those breaks and fun activities too. If you can do this well you’ll be much more relaxed when having to click “send” or “upload” for that final submission!
Have you worked on a qualification alongside your job? Have you got any tips?