With Christmas and New Years right around the corner, we all know how it goes--holiday parties, family gatherings and friends' night out. So where does studying for your CPA Exam fit into all of this? Good question. The holidays are a tough time to concentrate on your studies. So, we have a list of things you can do to have your cake and eat it too!
1. Schedule: With all the various parties and festivities going on, taking the time out to schedule study sessions will be a necessity. Keep a study calendar, planner, Google calendar--whatever! Just make sure you have times specified as study times only.
2. Prioritize: Sure, you may not want to miss out on seeing your friends, making gingerbread houses and visits to the ice rink--however, remember that studying for the exam should be primary.
3. Get a study buddy: As the saying goes, sometimes two heads are better than one. If someone you know is also studying for the exam, it may be beneficial to put together sessions over the holidays to keep one another accountable for study time.
4. Get your ZZZs: It's hard enough to get your recommended 7-8 hours of sleep a night, so trying to fit in your rest over the holidays will be even more of a challenge. Skip out early on the after party--your brain will thank you!
5. Study early in the morning: Whether or not you're a morning person, this one is sure to do the trick. Wake up a few hours earlier than you normally would and start the day with a study session. Then you can utilize the rest of the day to enjoy whatever festive plans lie ahead without feeling guilty and without having to dread studying later in the evening. Less people are apt to bother you as well!
6. Limit your distractions: If you're having family over at your place, try to find another area to study. Go to your local coffee shop or book shop to enhance your study environment to be free of distractions that may arise at home.
7. Ask for support: Put a friendly disclaimer on the table with family and friends that you'll need to dedicate some hours to studying for the exam. Setting these expectations with them ahead of time will let them know what to expect out of your attendance and participation in various festivities and will also give you some guided support!
8. Get some household help: If your loved ones get time off of work or are staying with you, don't be afraid to ask them for some help around the house! Having them take your kids to their Christmas recital, walking the dogs, or even simply picking up groceries and preparing dinner will give you extra time to study for the exam and more time to spend with them later!
9. Refresh and recharge: Passing the CPA Exam is important--but the holidays are too, especially if this is the one time of year where you get to spend time with people who are far away. So don't add too much additional stress to your life. Simply balance your studies and keep them in mind. Make sure to relax, unwind, and have fun with your loved ones. It could be just the thing you need to recharge your mind, body, and spirit!
10. Picture yourself as an (already) CPA!: This one's extra special--keep in mind the whole reason you're taking on the study obligations, long hours, etc--you're on the road to a successful future as a rockin' Certified Public Accountant!
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We hope you all have a fantastic holiday season!
Pass the CPA Exam smarter, not harder.