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Getting a handle on your study schedule
Setting a study schedule might sound about as exciting as doing your tax return. Yet, it’s one of those things that will pay off in the long run if you’re struggling with stress or juggling lots of commitments alongside study. We’ve got a couple of tips that will actually work to help you get a handle of your schedule.
Set time limits
Just like setting a time limit to tasks at work, the best way to manage your time in general is to make sure you’ve put each of your goals (whether study related or not) on the clock. There’s no denying the schedule isn’t going to work perfectly, but figuring out broad time limits for each of your goals is better than having set no limits at all. Even though the expectation is self-imposed, having a deadline for yourself will prevent you from feeling like you’re losing track of time.
Expect the unexpected
There’s no way of planning out every detail of your life, because things will inevitably chop and change as new opportunities pop up or your priorities change. The more you make peace with the ebb and flow of your study schedule, and are prepared to shift and shuffle things around, the easier it’ll be to avoid stress. Think of your schedule as more of a work in progress than a set-in-stone contract that you have to keep with yourself.
Allow time to breathe
If you’re taking on a new challenge, like adding study into your routine, it’s really important to give yourself time to wrap your head around it and find a process that works for you. It’s way too easy to feel unproductive if you’re not producing something tangible, like the times you’re reading through course materials. But, sometimes doing research, figuring out the questions you might have about a new subject, or just doing some general exploring around your new project is the best way to kick off.
Don’t skimp on downtime
Taking time to switch off is just as important as the time you’re switched on. If you feel like your schedule is overwhelming you, or you’re just feeling a bit lacklustre in general, pencil in downtime. You know your body and mind better than anyone else, so, whether it’s a mid-afternoon walk with the dog or a half hour break in front of the TV, give yourself that time to feel mentally refreshed.
Free up mental space
If you’ve got lots of stray thoughts circling your brain and taking up mental space, it can be really hard to focus on the task in front of you. The best thing you can do is to anchor these thoughts so you can prioritise the task ahead. This might be through writing them in a notebook or the Notes app on your phone, or even putting together a visual mood board or Pinterest page. Once you’ve got a bit more of a feeling of mental resolution by knowing that thought won’t get forgotten, it’ll be much easier to get back to what’s at the top of your to-do list.
Feel like you’ve got a handle on your schedule now? If you’re looking to slot further study into your schedule but aren’t quite sure where to start, get in touch with Open Universities Australia here or speak to one of their expert student advisors on 1300 513 044.
This article was originally published by our friends at Open Universities Australia.