When enrolled in an online MBA program – or even on one that meets regularly on campus – more likely than not, as an adult learner, you still have a full-time job. Juggling your family and social life with your work life and studies can prove difficult until you’ve established some patterns and have figured out what works for you. One way to get more done during your day is to make any break at work into a study break – you just need to know how to make the most of your time and shut out distractions.
Ask Your Professor and Classmates for Advice
The best professors in MBA programs specialize in teaching adults; read to find out more about teachers being relevant to adult learners and their teaching techniques. If you have a dialogue with your professor, ask for some tips on making your work environment into an effective study environment when you have a break. You might also bring it up amongst classmates when arranging an online study session or working on a group project together. As everyone involved is likely to be in a similar position, you’ll benefit from each other’s suggestions.
Colleagues are far less likely to bother you during a break and you’ll be better able to shut out the distracting sounds in the office if you wear headphones during your study breaks. Play your professor’s lectures or audio copies of your notes or simply feed your brain relaxing, neutral sounds like those used during meditation. Classical music playing softly might also assist you. Avoid high-energy music or songs with lyrics, though, as these can cause your focus to wander and will make studying more difficult.
Face a New Direction
After facing your computer or toward the door all day doing your work, your brain will actually subconsciously get used to your body position as a signifier it’s time to do work-related projects instead of school-related assignments. Simply moving your chair or spinning it to face a window as you pour over your notes or work on a laptop can change even a familiar surrounding into a new one so you can more effectively tackle a different kind of task.
Studying as an adult with a job and a mortgage or rent to pay isn’t the same as studying as a young adult. You may be older and wiser, but your time is limited, too. Make the most out of the time you have and do your homework during your breaks and lunch breaks. If your work environment really isn’t conducive to concentration, study in your car instead or head to a nearby café or library.