Managing Distractions While Studying for the CPA Exam

10 Mar 2016


JennyJenny is a NINJA CPA blogger.

By definition a distraction is a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.

My goal is to pass the CPA exam so anything that takes my mind off of studying is a distraction.

Distractions while studying for the CPA Exam can take on many shapes or forms.

Some distractions there is no control over. For example, work. Unless you are one of the winners of the biggest Powerball in history, or come from a long line of family money, you have to work to support your financial goals.

This is a distraction that is hard to work around and for an accountant during busy season, it's extra hard. A normal 8 hour working day is now a 12 hour day and all you want to do is come home and sleep just to start it over again.

Some distractions you can control. For example, cell phones, should I say more? You just don’t realize how BIG of a distraction a cell phone is.

I am afraid to admit how much I am actually on my phone checking email, Facebook and playing games. I would love to say that I am on my phone studying but that would be a lie.

How do you study with distractions? You have to work with them. I believe there is a time and a place for distractions; after all, they are going to happen. They are part of studying. The goal is to limit the distractions as much as possible.

Make a study plan and stick with it. I know I am going to have long hours at work for the next few weeks so I need to make sure I set some time every day to do some multiple choice questions.

I told my husband that I need to limit playing games to one night a week and devote as much time as I can to my studies.

Spousal Insight

My wife is right. Distractions Happen! The challenge as a spouse is how do you aide in helping divert their attention back to studying in a loving supportive way. Here are a few suggestions that might help:

Offer to set a timer. By setting a timer your are allowing them to be distracted for a time-boxed period on whatever their vice is (cell phone, video game, etc..) for a limited amount of time.

Offer to set a timer during a study break. By using the timer approach, coupled with a needed study break, you are getting the best of both worlds and not impeding on their progress

Do your best to keep the distractions away. This might mean you have to watch the kids make dinner, clean up after dinner, get kids ready for bed, etc…

This is a rough time for everyone. Stick it out. This is only temporary until the exam is passed.

So, what do you think? How do you manage distractions (either as a spouse, or as a CPA candidate?)

Leave a Reply