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October 07, 2012

3,5 months in and what have I learnt?

3,5 months into this part time MBA (strange how part time consumes every waking moment!) and I have learnt three very important things. Oddly enough, none of the three things relate to the content of the MBA modules!

The importance of time
A while ago I wrote a blog about time units and the need to introduce balance. The truth is that life just gets in the way. And that version of life usually does not include studying!
I have learnt how not to study, as the many techqniques I have experimented with seemed to fail. I have no consistent study schedule (I travel too much and managing tiny kids in the house is still a bit random) and have lost a lot of time over the past 3 months. I realised that when I do study/read/listen I understand easily, so I now try to make good use of whichever time slot pops up. Most of my learning content has been migrated to digital format located in a DropBox folder so it can be accessed from anywhere at any time. I'm obviously still working on prioritisation and maintaining focus, otherwise I would be typing my accounting core analysis assignment and not this blog.

The values I live by
During a leadership breakout session at the onsite Warwick Week in September I had to list my top ten values. These were ranked so that I could look at number 10 and know that I would give it up for number 9, and so on.
Family was number 1. With all of the work travel, the commuting, the fact that kids don't stay up as late as adults do and the housework, homework, socialising and blah blah blah, there is already little time to enjoy with my boy and girl. I would give up a lot of things to spend an hour with them, including studying.

The reality of opportunity
In the past I have always looked out for the big opportunity. Through a classmate (whom I won't name but if you want an introduction I can try to hook you up), I learnt that opportunities are small moments, small decisions that you have to be ready for. By the time it becomes a 'big' opportunity the issue has probably had time to evolve and the challenge may then exceed your level of expertise. Not jumping at the opportunity earlier may also show a lack of confidence or a lack of self-awareness. Prepare and be ready to identify the opportunity when it appears, and don't forget to take it.

Let me work on the maintaining focus piece now... The last 10 minutes have been reflective but now it's time to get to work!

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