Managing your time
Making the most of your time is a part of life; almost everyone at some stage needs to juggle family, work and a social life. But what happens when you throw part-time study into the mix? We’ve got some handy tips for finding more time in your week…
Tips and tricks
- Make use of your commute: Whether you’re on the train or the bus, use this ‘wasted’ time to catch up on reading or jot down some ideas about your next assignment.
- Use your lunch hour: Even if you only get a short break, why not take a coffee to your local park and see if the fresh air stimulates your writing?
- Break down big tasks into smaller ones: When you have a 2,000-word essay to write, you might feel that you can’t start until you have several hours free. But if you focus on small sections whenever you get a few minute spare, you’ll find they you make a lot of progress without even realising.
- Ask for help: If everything is getting on top of you, call in a few favours and ask friends or family if they can lend a hand.
- Keep a diary: It might sound like an extra task, but a diary can really help you to highlight where you’ve got free time in your day. You could even schedule ‘appointments’ with yourself to avoid putting off or delaying study.
- Get up earlier: It’s tempting to stay under the duvet until the last possible minute, but getting up just 30 minutes earlier can help you get ahead on your daily chores and learning tasks.
- Reward yourself: Nothing can motivate you to knuckle down and study like the promise of a night out, a bar of chocolate or whatever your favourite treat is.
Do you have any great time management tips? Post them in the comments section below.
A typical study week
Our Student Advisers have put together a handy guide to a typical University of Essex student’s week to give you ideas for scheduling your time.
Of course, no two weeks will ever be identical but here’s how one might look:
- Early in the week: Read around the subject you are currently studying – focusing on the required reading as outlined in the module. If the units require a Discussion Forum assessment, ensure you submit your Initial Post as early on as possible.
- Middle of the week: Continue to participate in the Discussion Forum, contributing as many of your allocated posts as possible to evidence your engagement and commitment to the course. Or, if required, continue to read around the subject and start to plan and draft your assignment, carefully selecting the most relevant secondary information to support your answer.
- Towards the end of the week: Start to type up your assignment or complete your final posts to the Discussion Forum, depending upon the set of units’ requirements. Taking note of your submission deadlines will enable you to plan your time accordingly and complete the required work in a timely manner – you will receive feedback within 7 days of submission, and will be able to access your grades and feedback via your online gradebook.