How do you stay sane?

My fiance is finishing up her PhD in psychology where she’s focused on memory. She’s insisted throughout this studying process, both at L1 last year and this year, that I need time off here and there to ‘synthesize information.’ She assures me that this synthesis is a valuable tool in converting all this stuff I’m learning and storing in my short-term memory into long-term memories. I took a practice test a few weeks ago and did poorly and eliminated days off from my schedule so now I’m going 7 days a week (so if you do the math, I’ve started to ignore that advice).

My question is, how do you all stay sane? What do you do outside of work and studying to keep a cool head? Does everyone take one day off a week, at least, or are most of you full steam ahead at this point? I know some of you are putting in ridiculous hours on a weekly basis both with and without jobs, and that’s certainly commendable.

As for myself, I’m currently working full-time, from about 7/7:30-5/5:30 every day, I go to the gym 5-6 days per week (this is my only ‘me-time’), and fill the rest of my time with between 22-26 hours of study every week. I miss that one day off per week but, damn if it isn’t better spent reviewing economic growth theories!

***EDIT: There’s also Game of Thrones that I catch on HBOGo for an hour every week.

You took your first practice test a few weeks ago?! If I recall correctly, you’re MUCH further in your studies than even the average AF poster (I think you mentioned you’ve covered the material both using CFAI & Schweser and started review when like Feb-ish…I think ?), so maybe it is a good idea to take a few hours off on the wkend or something. Plus, maybe it was just ONE bad test and score will just go up going forward? :slight_smile:

Thanks for putting it into perspective for me, but nothing lights a fire under my ass more than a poor performance and the increased fear of failure.

You’re telling me - I’m still trying to cover the material before hitting review/mocks and if someone who started review in Feb AFTER covering the material from the official books is having trouble, can’t even imagine the trouble I’m in. Will need to apply for some time-off from work :frowning:

As the lawyers would say: assumes facts not in evidence.


Can’t answer this question, was never sane to begin with…

Boxing twice a week…because I need to punch something after staring at these books, lifting once or twice a week, and one hour of tv before I go to bed. And Friday and Saturday night go out drinking, but chug like three bottles of water before going to bed so I’m not hungover the next day.

The best way to ensure that you’re not hung over the next day is to drink the good stuff. First, it’s so expensive that you cannot afford to get drunk, and, second, multiple distillations remove the complex alcohols (e.g., amyl alcohol) that lead to hangovers.

Boxing and bingeing - seems like a bullet proof method of maintaining brain cells lol

Yea I don’t actually spar with anyone, just punching a bag about 400 times. Getting punching in the head would likely not help my efforts for the CFA. I do it after work and I come back to my apartment all pumped up ready to study…weird I know but hey it works. As for the drinking, I definitely don’t go anywhere near as hard as I used to but hey if you can’t enjoy life a little why are we working so hard?

Hi gottuso,

I take Saturdays off each week to relax and spend time with my wife. Otherwise, I think I would end up a bit too obsessed with everything CFA.

As a matter of interest, what mark did you get in the mock? Was it Schweser?

^^ You would end up a single man if you didnt

Dude, it was baaaaad - like 50s bad. Not Schweser, it was the 2012 CFAI Mock, I’ll be taking my first Schweser on Saturday. I’m a combination of embarassed, ashamed and discouraged.

EDIT: I just calculated it to be 60.3% for half of the 2012 CFAI mock…rough…

whisky, and lots of it on Friday night. Take it easy on saturday, organize notes, write out formula sheet etc., then go hard on sunday and rest of the week.

Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Ardbeg, Caol Ila, Tormore, Aberlour, Macallan, Oban, and Talisker are in my cabinet at the moment.

Not nearly the collection you have, but Woodford Reserve, Woodford New Cask, Woodford Aged Cask, Knobb Creek, Glenrothes, Glenfiddich 15, Dark Horse, and Pike Creek are all sitting on my shelf right now. I’ve got my eye on a bottle of Masterson’s Straight Rye for my next purchase.

Kind of on that note (ie. the finer things), I haven’t had a cigarette for a month now (yay me) but interestingly enough, it’s not health or gross habit or anything like that that gets me through my cravings - I just remind myself how badly I want to be able to enjoy a cuban again. Who’da thought you could use smoking as a driver to quit smoking?

I used to always take the whole of Saturday off but I’ve not cut that out. I have a schedule that I really try to stick to which is to study the following hours on Sat and Sun

9-12:30 Study

12:30 - 2:00 lunch and time with family (try to go out to a cafe or something)

Then study from 2 until about 8:30, usually with a small break somewhere in between.

Then at 8:30 it’s time for helping put the kids to bed, then beers/wine + dinner + TV until late. This is time for my wife and I to hang out. We like to watch Celebrity Apprentice and American Idol. I also watch a couple of Discovery Channel reality shows like Gold Rush and Auction Hunters. Combined with alcohol, it’s wonderful mindless entertainment to help me forget the stress of the upcoming exam.

^I do something similar for weekends where evenings are time to de-stress & watch mindless television. What’s ya’lls weekday schedule these days? Still trying to put in 2-3 hrs or doing more? I still struggle w/ balancing the work and then late night study!

I try to study every day, I don’t actually set days. Sometimes I actually study (8:30 - 11:00 or so), sometimes I sit there and stare blankly at the material, and sometime I say screw it and drink beer in front of TV. I’d say of a 5 day week, I do 3-1-1 of the above mentioned.