Being able to manage your AAT study time to make sure it is effective in itself is a skill, especially for Distance Learning students. Check out our top tips:
Get rid of any distractions
Removing anything around you that has the potential to take your focus away from your studies will ensure your attention stays on your studies. Where possible, turn the volume off of your phone and put it out of sight to remove the temptation of checking messages etc. Ensure your laptop does not have any social media communication platforms open. You could plan it so that you set times to check your phone if you feel necessary (eg- one hourly intervals).
Getting into a state of mind where you are entirely focused on the task at hand comes a lot easier than you think. This mental state is commonly known as ‘flow’. This is where an individual is so involved in an activity that you do not even think about anything that is unrelated to it. Once you concentrate on any task with focus (by following the above) and a clear goal in mind, flow will naturally occur. Next thing you know; time has flown by, the task is complete and you are left feeling energised and accomplished. This will also increase the enjoyment of studying as it sets you up with the motivation you need for the next session!
Plan your time
Use a calendar to plan the day/session in detail. Set clear goals that are achievable as well as measurable targets. Create a checklist so that you can tick the tasks one by one so you can see your progression. This drives motivation and documenting your achievements gives you a good starting point when planning your next session. Anything you have not achieved or do not feel fully competent with you are able to use as the starting point for your next session.
Make sure you have all the resources you need around you (Books, Laptop/Internet, Telephone if you have tutor support, Online Study groups etc) having to stop to find resources can break your concentration and lead to becoming distracted. Organise your resources in a system that will make them more accessible and easier to locate (file by subject to reflect your timetable, by alphabetical order etc). Having a vast choice of resources available is great when tackling tricky subjects and can often ease the stress of unfamiliar territory. It can save you a lot of time by covering more material in a shorter space of time. If you have the resources available, use them to their full potential.
Rewarding yourself when you achieve something gives you, not only a break from a subject that can be intense, but also drives you to make progress as you know the reward is coming! This can be something as small as a cup of tea and a biscuit every 60 minutes or a boiled sweet after completing each chapter. It can also be a physical break, so maybe watching the news on the hour for 15 minutes or a 15-minute walk. Breaks can allow your brain to relax which will leave you refreshed and more productive when you resume your studies. Just make sure you keep rewards fairly minimal until your tasks are fully completed.
Be flexible with your AAT study time
You cannot plan for the unexpected. Life likes to throw us a challenge every now and again (Visitors dropping by, family emergencies, working additional hours etc). Therefore it is important to re-evaluate your time to ensure nothing is missed and disruptions are kept minimal so you do not fall behind.
If you are interested in starting a career in Accounting and would like any further information about the AAT courses available, give Premier Training a call on 01469 515444 to discuss the options available and study with an AAT award-winning provider.