Time management is crucial. Besides organizing the learning process, you will have to find the time for your CFA exam preparation. An average candidate is a financial professional who works in financial industry, which is very well known for long working hours. You have to spend your scarce free time learning. Following tips may help you create more time for preparation.
Weekly Agenda/List of Priories
Make a list of activities you do in a usual week. Put them on a list of paper in form of calendar and distribute the tasks across days in a usual week. Cut off everything that you deem unnecessary and keep only stuff that is important. Make a list of priorities. In future weeks, when you have to do something, just check if the activity is on your list of priorities. In case the activity is not among priorities, just put a reminder to do the activity in days after the CFA exam. For example, you would like to update your CV or buy a new shirt put it in your calendar or TO DO list after the exam day. This habit will also help you distinguish which activities are important and which are less important in your life and how to manage it in future.
If you usually do some stuff like washing your family car every second weekend or taking care of a garden, try to delegate these activities to other people for some time (family members, partner etc.). Get rid of as many of obligations as possible. You can always get back to your family/society duties after your CFA exam.
Try to be efficient on your workplace in order to finish everything on time instead of staying in the office overtime. Try to be efficient in learning as well. If possible, try to get a free hour from your bosses per day – an hour when you will be free of work, phone and other distractions. It is better to spend an hour on work learning, than an hour when you come home tired of everything and possibly distracted by family members.
Wake up earlier
Learn before you go to work. You will be more efficient and learn more if you learn before you go to work, before your employer squeezes all the energy out from you. Remember, when you are rested and fresh, your brain functions better and you can accept more information and solve practice problems faster. In addition, if you can save some time in transportation early in the morning and be in office before others arrive, do it! You will save some time and learn more.
If possible try to use your time while commuting for reviewing either a formula cheat sheets or reading. If you can’t learn due to various distractions, use the time efficiently for phone calls, e-mails and other stuff you can do while travelling so you don’t have to waste your valuable time on it when you come home.
Take day(s) off for preparing your CFA exam
Plan in advance with your superiors to get couple of days off for learning. If you announce this option in advance (say three months) your managers will most probably let you go. If possible, try to negotiate at least a week before the CFA exam is a week off.
In case you have some others tips & tricks, please feel free to add them in comments. You will help other candidates and support the community.
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