When you were in college, finding study time seemed tough. Between parties, your 10-hour per week work study gig and attending classes, you could scarcely find time to do any hard-core research. There’s no way you could have managed GMAT prep on top of that.
Fast-forward a few years, of course, and you realize just how silly you were. The fact is, your life is busier now than it was back then! Whether you’re a working professional, a busy parent or both, your time is limited. By the time the kids get into bed at night and you have spent a few minutes decompressing with your partner, you’re ready to collapse into bed yourself.
Fortunately, you don’t need hours on end of uninterrupted time for GMAT prep. You just need a plan. You need a good plan, one that takes into account your busy lifestyle. Follow the plan, and you’ll find that you can accomplish all the things you want to do and still have time for plenty of GMAT prep.
Here are some principles that you can put into play to maximize your GMAT prep opportunities: **
Unplug. When you get ready to enter your GMAT study time, disconnect. Shut off your cell phone. Turn off Twitter. Log out of Facebook. Disconnect from all of those potential distractions so you can truly focus with the time you have.
Find a dedicated space. It’s not always easy to do in a house with other people, especially kids. Still, if you can find one spot to dedicate to study – whether it’s the breakfast nook, a small desk in the corner of the laundry room, or somewhere else – you’ll have a big payoff. Let everyone know that’s your territory and not to disturb you when you are there. Try to pick a place that’s out of the normal flow of your family’s traffic patterns.
If you can find slots of time that you can set aside each day, you’ll find your GMAT prep becomes a true habit. Identify and use these potential pockets of time. Maybe it’s when the kids go down for a nap. Maybe it’s on your lunch hour at work. Chances are that you’ve got four or five pockets of time throughout your day that could be spent doing GMAT prep, and minutes add up to hours. **
Get your friends and family on board – or bribe them! If your network is supportive of your GMAT prep needs, great! You’ll need to spell it out clearly to them though, and let everyone know that it’s for a limited time. Mark it obviously on a calendar to keep people aware. This way you can ask for favors without people feeling they are being taken advantage of – they know this is an extra busy time for you right now and will hopefully support you because of it.
GMAT prep doesn’t have to be long, drawn out, or time consuming. With the right plan and a few modifications of your regular routine, you should be able to do all the GMAT prep you need to do. As we always say here at 30 Day GMAT Success, study smart!