Study Skills – Managing your time
Do you wish you could study more effectively? In this video we’re going to… “Hi Mum. Yes, just filming a video. Can I call you in an hour? OK. Sorry. Bye!” Where were we? Yes, studying effectively. Dealing with distractions is just one thing we need to do. Ah, yes. If you want to study well you need to manage your time. How to do that? First, you need to ask yourself three questions: what your commitments are, what your study goals are, and how you work best. Let’s start with the easy one. What are your commitments outside study? What about work, family events, childcare or travel? Write down when these are – and how long they take. You can do this for the whole year or a shorter period. Now you know how much time is left for studying. But is it enough? That depends on your goals, which is point two. Do you want to pass the course or get a specific grade? How much will you need to do in order to achieve that? Take a good look at the syllabus, exam and assignment timetables, and old exam papers to find out how much you need to do. Sometimes, you need to look at short-term goals. For example: this week, today, and in the next hour. Take a good look at your commitments: you might need to change some if you don’t have enough time. Which brings us to question three: how do you work best? In the morning? At night? And where? In a library? At home? With music? In silence? With lots of coffee? Or lots of chocolate? Psst. Try to do your most difficult tasks when your concentration is strongest. Ah. With all this information, you can make the perfect master plan that suits you. But there’s a problem: distractions. Sorry Mum. Maybe time to switch off your phone. And the difficult one: procrastination. Why is it that whenever you have a task, everything else appears more interesting? Maybe you need to need to take a desperate measure: switch off your internet connection. And if you need the internet for research, you can load pages you need – before turning it off. And if you still find it hard, try working in short bursts. For example, 40 minutes at a time. You can also do a deal with yourself. How about: I can eat this lovely chocolate, but only after I finish reading this paper. Hopefully, by now, everything’s going great. Now remember, even if you make the best plan in the universe you still need to be flexible. And try to enjoy your study. Hi Mum. Yeah, just finished filming now, actually. Hang on, let me switch off the camera.