'Multitasking is the art of messing up several things at once'
'If everything's a priority, then nothing is a priority'
You must've heard many people say these phrases when you started studying for the MBA entrance examinations, especially if you are working. Some of you may even be demoralized by the scores you're getting and end up believing these people.
Trust me, multitasking is the way of life in an MBA and that's unavoidable. And multitasking starts right when you start studying for CAT. Studying for CAT and also making sure that your work life is unaffected by it is an achievable task. Here's how (Speaking from experience):
> Error 404: Distractions not found.
"Hey brooo, its Fridayyyyyy!! Let's go party somewhere!"
"Dude, you don't give time to your friends these days. At least come for a night out once"
"One or two beers don't matter. Study after that all you want"
I'm sure these are some of the dialogues you must've heard your friends say and you might be tempted to get swayed by them. After all, 2-3 hrs of fun won't hurt much in the long term. Right?
First thing is that these short outings and parties never remain short. And even if they do, some of these parties don't leave you in a condition to study afterward :P. I might sound like a bore, but people who are working especially don't have the luxury to waste time in parties and outings during prep.
> Fix a time to study. Make it sacrosanct.
Often, you'll feel so tired after office that you just won't want want to study. Or you may think you'll study extra tomorrow for what you missed today. Or there may be a case that you may keep your study time flexible based on your mood.
Not a great idea (any of these).
It is a fact that your brain gets used to particular functions at particular times of the day. So, if you start studying when its time to eat, your brain will just say, 'Sorry mate, no can do".
- Day shift (9 AM-6 PM) -> Study in the morning (around 6 AM). If you're an owl, then have an early dinner and start the study by at least10 PM.
- Evening Shift (2 PM-10 PM) -> You're lucky if you have these timings.
- You can study a lot in the morning (from 9 AM to 12 PM).
- Night Shift (9 PM to 6 AM) -> I won't recommend studying right after work in this shift. Better to take a good 7-8 hrs sleep and then study from 5 PM.
> Utilize leaves and holidays effectively
The number of leaves and holidays depend from company to company, but a certain minimum number of leaves are allowed in every office. These will be critical to the preparation of CAT since you would need at least 10-15 days in November for finishing up on your studies and giving a few mocks.
So, save your leaves, club them with holidays as best as you can, and utilize that time well. By utilizing, I mean give mocks (this is very important), correct your mistakes from mocks, and again give mocks, and give mocks and a lot of mocks! You won't have gotten a lot of time to give mocks regularly during your regular office days. So, make use of the holidays, weekends, and leaves.
In the end, I would like to mention that I was also a working professional with below-par scores in my first attempt. But I prepared for CAT/XAT for the second time while working only. It is not that hard, but you just have to maintain your discipline while preparing.
'Success is sweet, but the secret is sweat" - Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf