Difference between ‘Busy’ and ‘Productive’

 In Lifestyle, Online Study

How much study is too much study? Seems like a pretty controversial topic right? Considering most of you who will be reading this, will be studying diploma courses online.

We are taught that practice, practice, practice makes perfect, and who am I to argue with that? To succeed in anything, we need to be hardworking, dedicated and disciplined. That’s how everyone, who is at the top of their game, is where they are today. Richard Branson, Serena Williams, Oprah Winfrey are just a few of the names that resonate on this subject.

But there’s one thing in particular, that highly successful individuals and industry leaders have in common. Yes, they work hard, yes they put in the hours, yes they have failed time and time again and pushed through, but there’s something else that we don’t often hear about. Highly successful people understand the importance and benefits that come from having a healthy work/life balance.

So what exactly is a healthy work/life balance? Well, you have your job. You have your studies. You have your family. You have your social life, but ask yourself this. Is there balance in the amount of time you are dedicating to each? I am not talking about an even split of time here. Some areas of our lives, i.e. work will need more time, as that’s how we make a living. But… is there one area of your life that is completely being disregarded? Disregarded because there is some other area of you life that seems to be draining your time, energy and effort?

If you answered yes, you’re not alone. Most of us would be in a similar situation. So how can we strive to give more time to the areas in our lives that seem to be sitting on the backbench? Well… A lot of it comes down to attitude and discipline and a lot of it comes down to using the time we have, productively.

You see there is a distinct difference between being ‘productive’, and being ‘busy.’ We’re all busy. We can all fill up our day with errands, work, family responsibilities etc. Sometimes we think that if we fill up every waking hour of the day, we are busy and therefore can give ourselves a big tick for effort. However, if we really want to strive for work life balance, we need to not just be ‘busy’ but also be productive. Let me give you an example.

Have you ever sat down at your desk for a study session? You open your text book, read a couple of lines… check Facebook… read a couple more lines… write a couple of notes… check out how your Ebay sale is going… flick through a few more pages of your text book. Suddenly, you’re two hours in, you have no idea what you just read and all you’re thinking about is your plans for the weekend?

You tell yourself it’s all good. You’ll read it again later when you get some time. We feel ok about it because we filled up a whole heap of the day in the study zone. We were busy.

Someone once taught me a skill. A skill that has helped me in becoming not just ‘busy’ but productive, especially when it comes to study. I hope in sharing it with you, you can apply it to your online diploma courses. I hope it enables you to free up some of those wasted hours in your day, to enjoy the things you really love.

Understanding the non-negotiables:

We all have non-negotiables that we have to do every single day. Picking up the kids from school, going to work or whatever that may be. Try mapping out these non-negotiables on a monthly calendar. It will soon become clear exactly where you have free time available for those other things that must get done, i.e. study.

What you need to do is create yourself some ‘study blocks.’ No more than two hours at a time. Space them out across the week, where there is time available. When you are in these study blocks it is GO TIME. Forget multi tasking; forget checking your phone messages, forget the sales man whose knocking at your front door. This is your time to go hard with the task at hand.

Of course if you have little ones, this will be a little trickier, but where I am going with this is, when we are doing a task, we need to be present. We need to be in the moment, focused and ready to work. The reason I say two hours maximum, is science shows after a 90-minute interval we tend to allow distractions in much easier.

Give these ‘go time’ study blocks ago and see if you notice any change. You might just find that extra bit of free time for the things you love.

For more tips on achieving a healthy work/life balance while studying diploma course online, visit our blog.

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