Published: 29 June 2020
At the University of Sunderland in London, you’re making your goals a reality. It’s natural to want to work hard if, for example, you’re thinking about becoming an entrepreneur. But there’s a big difference between working a lot and working smart.
With classes, seminars, study groups, assignments and more, there’s a lot that goes into your university degree. When you put that on top of other commitments like work and family, it can all seem a little overwhelming.
That’s why learning to manage your time is so important. Below we’ve put together five top tips for making the most of your studies so you succeed and have time to focus on the other things in your life.
1) Know your tasks
You can’t manage your time without knowing what tasks you have. Find a task management system that works for you. This could be a calendar, pin-up planner, timetable, or mobile app. Try Evernote, Microsoft To Do or Todoist as great examples. Then simply write down everything on your agenda.
This could be big things like finishing your dissertation or small and easy tasks like finding your reading list.
Once you know what your tasks are, put them in your planner. Estimate how much time each task will take and assign a time to do it. Top tip: make sure you give yourself a little more time than you think. This will help keep you on track.
You’ve written down all your tasks, you know what you’re doing and when. But don’t forget, your social life is just as important as your academic life. Plan in breaks, social sessions, relaxation time and whatever else you need.
You’ll find it easier to stay on track when you’ve got something to look forward to.
4) Eight to ten hours
It might sound like a lot, but your typical working day should be around eight to ten hours. Don’t worry though, this includes working, studying, socialising and all the practical parts of life. No one expects you to spend ten hours studying after a day of classes.
Find a pattern that works for you and don’t try to overextend yourself. You’ll just burn out and feel less motivated to carry on. It’s about small changes that build up to big outcomes.
"Finding a balance between your studies and home or work life is really important. That's why many of our courses only have classes over two days - so you can reach your goals and fit learning around your life." - Dr Geoff Paul, Assistant Director (Academic
5) Plan, plan, plan
You can’t reach your goals without first thinking about how you’re going to get there. Take some time in your schedule to research, plan and think about your work. Give yourself the time to understand the information you learn from classes and your reading.
How are you going to use it? Will it fit in an assignment, do you need to understand it to make sense of the next lecture? Try writing down everything you need to know before you start your research. It will save you time in the long run.
Studying and going for your goals can be a lot of fun. It’s important to be mindful, work smart and look after your mental health along the way.