CFA Study: Balancing Work, Life, and CFA Exams

CFA Study: Balancing Work, Life, and CFA Exams

The first thing you’ll hear while approaching your CFA exams is you need about 300 hours of study. And your first thought is that it’s impossible for you. Probably because you have a daunting full-time job, friends, and family to catch up on and need some personal time, right? Well, that’s reasonable. However, what’s more reasonable is you’re able to balance your schedule well and squeeze in some study hours – even with all the busy going on in your life. 

The right approach to this is communication, setting priorities, and self-awareness, among others discussed in the next section.

This article will help you discover a few tips to keep every aspect of your life rolling and fix in some time for your CFA exams preparation. 

Let’s delve!

Focus on Self-Awareness

It takes a lot of self-awareness to set everything right, especially in your social life. Sometimes, we have friends and family that need our attention and might not understand that we need to be away for the sake of an exam. In other circumstances, you might have a boss that’s so much on your case, demanding that all duties be performed on time. 

Well, there should be no excuse for failure to meet their expectations. However, you can let them know of your need for slack time. Alternatively, things can turn out better if you explain to them why you need the Certified Financial Analyst and what it would mean to the company if you gained those skills.

On the other hand, let your family and friends know what’s ahead of you and how much time it would require. If they understand, they might hop into your house from time to time to help with cleaning, cooking, or grocery shopping. You want to minimize spending time with friends that suck your energy such that you’ll find it hard to study after meeting them. Just be sure to be around people who can chip in whenever you need their help, including emotionally.

Set Your Priorities Right

Now that you have serious roles, you want to sift off the less serious ones. But the big challenge is knowing which ones are less serious. For instance, if you have a whole bunch of papers to read and your friend calls for an eat-out, it will be incumbent upon you to know which one comes first. Going out might help with motivation, while on the other hand, staying behind and doing what you were supposed to do will help you stay on track.

One thing for sure is if you keep paving essential events in your schedule for some informal activities, attaining your targets at the end of the day will be impossible. To avoid all this confusion, add some time to rest, take a break, or meet a friend and stick to that. If you must visit your family, spend the hours, you indicated on your to-do list. To be on the safe side, always carry your study materials, just in case you’re not able to get back home.

Keep an Eye On The Time

Understanding that you never have enough time will help you to always be on the run. As hard as it sounds, it’s only possible when you try it and add a little discipline. For example, if you wake up about 2 hours before work and would typically need an hour to prepare and get to work, you’d better use that one hour to get to work instead of slacking around and then rushing at the last minute. 

Once you decide to get something done, don’t allow any distractions. Instead, shut down any source of distraction and ensure you give yourself entirely to what’s before you. This is the only way to finish the task in the set time. 

Set Realistic Targets

CFA studies can get in the way of a person’s work or social life. Considering how complex the CFA exam is, one may choose to start mixing things up and think that there’s nothing wrong with that. You can be so threatened by CFA exam difficulty that you keep pulling out the study papers during social events. 

To avoid all the nerdiness, approach the whole process with courage and prudence. Set out the entire course and divide it into subsections according to the time you have. Add any job commitments and set realistic timelines and deadlines for each. While you most likely set an unrealistically short time to do something, you can also be tempted to set an unrealistically long time. Hence, monitor yourself to know the perfect time to finish a task with the right amount of focus.

Prioritize Your Health and Overall Well Being

CFA studies can cause a significant amount of stress on your health and emotional well-being. The thought of how complex the CFA exam is can often steal your joy if you let it. As studying for these exams will often come with new challenges, taking care of your overall well-being is important. This boils down to the little things you may ignore, such as having enough rest, eating healthy, and caring for your emotional health.

While there’s so much to worry about, you don’t want the worry to overwhelm you so much that you can’t study. Worrying is only good if it will allow you to take action. Besides, don’t beat yourself too much. Instead, listen to your body. If it feels like stopping and having a breather, give it that out to avoid having mental blocks. You will also need to be emotionally stable to grasp things and remember. Don’t let exam things weigh you down or cause serious health issues.

Determine Your Support Systems

After creating schedules and fighting hard to remain disciplined, you’ll realize the need for more help. As most of the tasks in your schedule require personal effort to get done, there are days that you might just not feel like doing them. That’s when online study cohorts save the day. Getting an online study team with similar schedules will help keep you on your toes. Besides, this will be an accountability system, ensuring you’re always on track.

Such teams will always season you with reliable study materials or online tutorials to improve your revision. Most of these websites provide the proper survival techniques, such as time management, improving test-taking skills, and ways to combat stress. Knowing that you’re not alone will help propel you from one CFA study module to the next.

Expand Your Concentration Span

It’s common to experience mental blocks when you set out to study for CFA exams. Sometimes you will find yourself zoning out within the first few minutes of studies. So what do you do in such circumstances? 

Mental blocks are your brain’s way of telling you that you have mental exhaustion. You, therefore, find it difficult to focus on the little details or even remember them. If you don’t address this, you might be frustrated and find yourself giving up. To expand your concentration, you will need to give your brain enough rest to recharge. That means taking health breaks and a good amount of night rest. Be sure to take evening walks where you reconnect with the world and your brain gets the relaxing power of nature. 

Furthermore, you can always bank on exercise. According to studies, exercise improves your cognitive function, reduces anxiety and negative mood, and improves self-confidence. 

Avoid Burnout During Your CFA Study

Everyone tends to panic whenever something taxing is on their way. That makes them want to study all night and day and do less rest. This may be helpful until it starts affecting every aspect of your life. Soon, you may start having issues with focus, and your body might start breaking down. If not addressed, this might lead to serious health issues and lead you to the hospital instead of the exam hall. 

Just don’t beat yourself too much. Divide everything into small achievable chunks and accept failure from time to time. Self-care should always be a priority no matter what is ahead.

If you’re wondering how hard the CFA exam is, we’ll tell you that it’s not hard when it’s well-prepared. Hence, the need to adopt these easy tips bearing in mind that exams aren’t the end of life. You might fail or pass, and whichever the outcome, you will always have a chance to do better. 

You also don’t want to forget that time is everything; hence use it well. Keep in mind that no achievement sets in well without a little bit of self-care. Start studying for your CFA today with AnalystPrep to maximize your study time for top performance.

sindhushree reddy
sindhushree reddy
Crisp and short ppt of Frm chapters and great explanation with examples.
Hui Ni
Hui Ni
Thanks for the effort and time spent in making these wonderful video! Not only did it help with it academically, it makes me feel motivated and comfortable that have someone guiding me through every chapter after chapter! Appreciated very much! ?
Geoff Graae
Geoff Graae
With the help of analystprep I cleared both FRM 1 & 2. The videos posted online are some of the best resources I used and I would recommend them for anyone looking to clear this program. Thank you!!
Nithin Nallusamy
Nithin Nallusamy
FRM instructional videos was very helpful for my exam preparation! Prof.James is such a good heart and his way of teaching is impressive! Thanks a lot prof for free YouTube videos...
Isha Shahid
Isha Shahid
Literally the best youtube teacher out there. I prefer taking his lectures than my own course lecturer cause he explains with such clarity and simplicity.
Artur Stypułkowski
Artur Stypułkowski
Excellent quality, free materials. Great work!
Ahmad S. Hilal
Ahmad S. Hilal
One of the best FRM material provider. Very helpful chapters explanations on youtube by professor James Forjan.