Have you just returned from the Thanksgiving break? Are you struggling to get back into the work mood? One way to adjust your mindset is to remind yourself that studying is your business and your investment. Here are a few suggestions on how to make it grow:
- Treat studying as your work and show up. Set the hours when you need to study, eliminate the distractions and focus on the subject matter at hand.
- Every business should have a business plan. What’s yours? Identify your short-term and long-term goals. Adjust your curriculum accordingly. Choose extracurriculum activities that help to develop the skills needed for your mission. Set up a system to account for your progress: grades are one way to measure your success but you can develop more intrinsic assessments as well. Make revisions of your plan as necessary. Make your plan the driving force of your learning experience.
- Try the inbox / outbox system when you study. The inbox contains all the information you need to go through: your reading materials, research, class notes, etc. Your outbox is the knowledge product that you create based on the information from your inbox. This includes outlines, case briefs, papers, memos, etc. The trick is to establish a healthy flow between your inbox and outbox. If you read a case, brief it. When you cover a topic in your textbook, outline it. If you do research, make notes, create mindmap, summaries – something tangible that you can refer to in the future. You can use a two-column table to track the flow: one column is for the inbox, the other – for the outbox. Your homework assignments fill the inbox, and you take it from there.
- Treat your school deadlines the same way you would treat your work deadlines. Your studying habits will eventually transfer into your work habits.
- Collaborate with others. At work, we consult our boss, colleagues, mentors, experts if we have a question or want to get feedback on our ideas. Schools have great resources available to students: professors, librarians, support programs, career services are all there to help. Establish good working relationships with these people, grow your “know-who” and gain access to the wealth of experience and wisdom they possess. These contacts are also useful when you need reference letters or just simple advice. And don’t forget your classmates. Students come from various backgrounds and walks of life. You can learn a lot from each other if you care to ask.
Can you find any other parallels between studying and business? Share your insight, leave a comment.