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Pacing Yourself in an Online MBA

As new technologies and market practices continue to accelerate changes within the business world, it can feel like taking time to earn an advanced degree may put you behind your peers. But getting an online degree that allows for self-directed study — while you keep your current job — may be a practical solution to staying current as the business world changes. But at what speed should you move through an online MBA program?

A Degree in Hand Is Invaluable

Ultimately, getting your degree can be the most valuable thing you can do for yourself. An advanced degree in business administration will provide you with an excellent set of skills in business automation, data management, investment strategies, management methodologies and financial planning. There will always be a need for these skills in the business world, and a strong foundation in these areas will make you a valuable candidate for any business, no matter the industry.

Avoid Burnout

While we are highly productive creatures, it is difficult to sustain a high level of productivity indefinitely. A proper balance of work, play and rest allows our bodies and minds to recharge and refresh. Working too hard for too long leads to burnout — that state where your brain refuses to do any more work.

There are several types of burnout, but the two most common for students is overload burnout and exhaustion burnout — where you are overwhelmed by the workload and where the workload has worn you down to a state where further work is near impossible, respectively. With a self-directed online MBA, it can be easy to find yourself in either of these states, and success within a program relies on avoiding burnout.

Acknowledge Your Deadlines

Put class deadlines in your calendar. When are papers due? When are the tests? How much do you have to study in order to be ready for each of these deadlines? How long does it take you to process all this content?

Once you know how much work you have to do, you can examine your schedule and find out when you are going to have the time to do the work. If you are working full-time and caring for a family, you might not have as much time in any given day as someone with fewer responsibilities. How much time you have compared to anyone else does not matter; all that matters is that you have time to devote to your education.

Do the math. Are there enough hours to do all the work? Can you do more? Do you have to make changes in your existing schedule to meet the demands of your program? Can members of your family take on some of your responsibilities?

Planning Is Doing

The answers to all these questions will help you make a plan, and your plan shows you the path to success. Share your plan with those around you; they can help you reach your goals. Get them invested in it as well. Pacing yourself is a matter of knowing how much work needs to be done and when it needs to be done. After that, it is a matter of doing the work.

The Corporate MBA program at FIU consists of 42 credit hours spread across 18 months. Of course, you can complete the program at a slower pace if that works better for your situation.

The goal is to complete the work. It is easy to get discouraged and abandon a course if you are overly stressed or burned out. Manage your expectations and acknowledge the pace that works best for you.

Learn more about the FIU online MBA program.


OnlineMBA: Studying at Your Own Pace

The Business Journals: How to Pace Yourself to Improve Your Productivity

The Productivity Pro: True Productivity at Work Requires Pacing Yourself

Association for Psychological Science: Burnout Comes in Three Varieties

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