Juggling your studies with work, family and friends can be a tough task, but there are ways to keep your stress levels down. We asked a couple of students what helps them to manage their time while studying.
Grace, The Open University
Use a diary
I find having a diary for study really useful, as I can put any deadlines, tutorials and big pieces of work in there so I always have them to hand. I also have an online planner which breaks down the work for the year into 4/5 week blocks.
Planning my work
So that I can fit my studying around any big events that I have coming up, as well as full time work in general, at the beginning of each block of studying I have a good look over all of the work that I need to fit into the time so that I can put time aside in advance. This helps make sure that I have plenty of time to get everything done.
As I work full time I find that using the little bits of spare time that I have between other things that I have going on helps me to fit everything in. Travel plays a big part in this as I can get a fair amount of reading done on my journeys to and from work.
Rita, Kingston University
Be realistic and do what works for you
Observe when in the day you are usually most alert and productive. Then base any planning you make on that. For example, I’m zombie until about midday so I only do my work in the afternoon until the early evening.
Don’t compare yourself to others
Everyone works differently and there's no right way of studying. Some people can work from 6am until 3pm, others work better doing smaller chunks, some are nocturnal.
Don’t give up when things don't go to plan
Sometimes things come up and you won’t be able to stick to your schedule. When that happens, don’t beat yourself up about it. Catch up on your work on a free day or afternoon.
Ask for help when you need it
Educational institutions are pretty cool, in that they provide a lot of help and support with academic skills and learning difference testing. If you notice that you find difficult like reading, writing, doing maths or spelling, find out if you can get tested for a learning difference.
Your union should also have support if you just need some tips on study techniques.