Back to BEC: Finding Time to Get Everything Done

Ali is a NINJA CPA Blogger.

I’ve officially been back to studying for almost two weeks now, and it’s been a pretty good start.

When I left the Big 4 for a job in industry a couple months ago, I suddenly found myself with a lot of free time, so naturally, I picked up a part-time job at a coffee shop, started running and cycling again (I’m training for a duathlon in September and a half marathon in October), and took up weekly golf lessons.

When I decided to add studying into the mix, I realized I’d slightly overcommitted.

I wasn’t sure whether there were really enough hours in the day to accomplish everything, especially if I wanted to fit in study time. I decided to create a schedule for everything.

I made a grid with all seven days of the week and time slots every hour from 5 in the morning to 11 in the evening, and penciled in every single activity that was important to me. Suddenly, I could clearly see that I could fit in 60 hours of work, 12 hours of studying, and 8 hours of exercise, and still have time to take care of things around the house, spend time with the people I love, and most importantly, relax.

I know I won’t always stick to the schedule minute by minute, but it was empowering to have tangible proof that if I use my time wisely, there really are enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do.

When it comes to unscheduled time, I’m trying to develop better habits. I’ve been taking my Kindle everywhere so I can read ahead when I’m waiting in line somewhere. I installed Wiley MCQs and NINJA Flashcards on my iPhone so I can review when I’m riding in the car or sitting around the coffee shop on breaks.

I’m hoping I can keep up this momentum and be ready to put BEC behind me in July!

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