IAS Divya Mittal shares 10 useful tips for working professionals seeking guidance on how to prepare for the UPSC.

Wake up early: Mittal advises aspirants to wake up early; for instance, at 5 am, and dedicate 4-5 hours per day to studies and at least 12 hours on weekends.

Utilise work breaks: She tells aspirants to finish reading newspapers and current affairs during office breaks and study while commuting via public transport.

Limit sources: She advises aspirants to focus on an in-depth study from limited sources instead of increasing the sources of study.

Buy notes: “You can get some notes online or at the market. This will help you save time, and allow you to use that time for high-impact study,” says Mittal.

Split leaves: The IAS officer advises working professionals to use leaves judiciously. For example, take leaves close to your exams.

Manage stress: Mittal shares that working professionals mostly endure job stress along with preparation. So her advice is to leave work problems at the office itself.

Avoid socialising: The IAS officer asks aspirants to avoid hanging out with office colleagues post work as time is critical during preparation.

Drown negativity: “Cut off ties with negative people, and talk to a mentor who can push you and motivate you,” advises Mittal.

Avoid complacency: She shares that as working professionals already have a backup — their current job — they should not let complacency set in.

Maintain focus: The IAS officer says, “Once you get selected for any service, resign the same day.”

“With the selection in place, you have the security of getting a private job at any time. This will help focus completely on the next attempt,” she adds.