December's Dear Roger question comes from Heather S. of Belfast, Maine:
Heather: As the holidays are approaching, I'm trying to figure out how to work my CPA Exam studies into time spent with my family, holiday dinners and work. Any suggestions on how to study during the holidays?
There are many people who find it difficult to balance their studies with the holidays. Time off during the holidays allows you a great opportunity to study for the CPA Exam since you have fewer work and/or school obligations. It's important to be productive during the holidays, but necessary to set realistic expectations.
My advice to you is:
- Don't study at home. Find a place with few distractions so that you can utilize your study time in the best possible way. If you're sitting at home trying to study while family is visiting, you might find it difficult to concentrate on the task ahead. A library, office or coffee shop would be better alternatives for places to really focus.
- Plan ahead and set the proper expectations. Your study time during the holidays may need to be altered to fit in time with family and friends. Go into your study session with the expectation that you might not study as long as you normally do. Instead of your normal schedule, you might need to consider studying for shorter periods of time. The best way to plan ahead is to consider how much time you can set aside for family and how much time to set aside to prepare for your exams. Then, stick to your schedule!
- Ask for your family's support. Let your family know that you need their support to study during the holidays. Let them know your study schedule and then ask that they support you during the allotted time you must be away. Also, consider getting them involved in your studies. Have them quiz you over material thereby making them an active and integral part of your success. This allows you to "kill two birds with one stone," so to speak.
Most of all, have fun! The holidays are a special time to enjoy your friends and family, relax and celebrate!