Ogaga Coaching

How to create time to study for the PMP exam with a busy schedule

It can be very difficult to study for the PMP exam when you have a very busy schedule. However, you don’t have to wait to have a less busy schedule before you start studying for the PMP exam.

You can start studying now using these six (6) productivity strategies to master your time. I use these strategies in my coaching programs and it helps my students to effectively study, prepare and pass the PMP exam.

So instead of postponing when you would start working towards being certified; start studying now using these six productivity strategies to maximize your day. You can study for the PMP exam even with a busy schedule. Start working towards achieving your PMP goal.

Remember that little steps taken consistently towards your goal would eventually lead to achieving your goal.

Let’s dive right in.

1. Have a plan

There is no point creating the time if there is no plan on how to use the time effectively.

Draw up a study plan; the plan should include the material you would read for each day and how many chapters/sections would you read.

For example, in my PMP coaching program, each student has a reading plan that includes the chapters to be read within each week and every task that needs to be done for the coaching duration is outlined. It is just like having a project schedule.

This helps you to monitor and control your study schedule. You are able to compare actual versus planned and apply corrective or preventive actions where necessary to get you back on track.

You should include contingency into your plan. Sometimes, life gets interrupted by unexpected circumstances. I always include a 2 weeks contingency in the study plans I create for my students because as we know life happens and that is a risk to factor into your plan.

2. Determine the time length

Once your plan is ready, determine how many hours a day and how many days a week you need to study.

You can also decide to break your study time into sets. For example, if you want to read for 2 hours, you can decide to have 2 sets of 1 hour reading time by reading for 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the evening.

It is best practice to take a break after focusing on a task for 1.5 hours because you begin to experience diminishing returns if you go longer than 1.5-2 hours on the task. So breaking up your reading time into sets is a productive way of making the most of your time daily.

3. Schedule your day on a calendar

This sets you up for daily success and ensures you are realistic with your daily schedule.

This way, you see how much time you have in a day and when you insert activities and give it a duration, you soon realize that you can’t add any more activity on your calendar (sometimes we forget we have just 24 hours).

For example; with 7.5 hours in a day for work, I have to include tasks that have a total duration of 7.5 hours. If I schedule it on my calendar, it would make me realize when the tasks for the day are over 7.5 hours. This would prompt me to reprioritize my tasks; keeping the most important tasks for the day and moving the other tasks to the following day or whatever day is most appropriate.

This way, I have created a realistic schedule because it contains tasks within the time period I have allocated for work. Unrealistic expectations leads to stress and fatigue. It could feel like you aren’t making significant progress or being productive, where as you are and actually accomplishing a lot within the time you have.

4. Attach your reading time to an existing system

An existing system is a habit/something you do daily without even thinking about it.

If every morning, you without fail turn on your laptop to work, you can decide to read before you turn on your laptop to work. This way, once you are about to do this habit, you would remember and be prompted to read.

5. Have an accountability partner

This person checks on your progress and ensures you are on track. The person monitors and controls the activities on your plan ensuring that what you planned is what you are actually doing.

An accountability partner helps to keep you motivated as well and reminds you about your goal. It is important to have a “why” because this why would keep you going on days when you don’t feel like doing anything. When all you want to do is just give up.

You friends, family or a coach could be your accountability partner. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support from loved ones.

6. Incorporate grace days

Rest is very essential to revive yourself and relax. Include at least one day of grace into your weekly reading schedule.

I always include two days of rest in mine so that the body and brain feels adequately rested and ready to start the new study week.

Remember that little steps taken consistently towards your goal would eventually lead to achieving your goal.

Cheers to success. I’m rooting for you.


Wondering how to pass the PMP Exam? Get my FREE PMP Exam Checklist. It contains the 6 powerful tips that I used to prepare, study and pass the PMP Exam with above target in all domains at my first attempt.


If you have any questions or contribution, please do so by leaving a comment in the comment section below.

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4 thoughts on “How to create time to study for the PMP exam with a busy schedule”

    1. Thanks a lot Angel, super glad to know you found it useful. Yes to using it for other exams as well. Thank you.

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