Pavlos Andreadis has produced the following quick start guide for students who may require additional help with time management.
The below is a quick start guide to setting up a manageable, adaptive schedule for your Academic Year, with advice extracted from discussions with tutees, and colleagues.
You will eventually converge to a system (whether that is a force of habit or something more structured) that works best for you. That being said, this guide should help you create a starting point, and put you in the driver’s seat of your studies.
The guide should be particularly useful to:
- new students (who might feel lost);
- returning students (who feel like they could plan things better this year);
- those of us who stress out on our free time and black out during work.
You will need your list of courses, a calendar with the class schedule, and something to take notes on.
- Go through your list of courses and consider how much time it would take you to study for a week’s material (a good guess will suffice for now). Then note that number down for each course.
- Looking at your calendar, consider which times in the week you are willing to make available for regular study. Break those down into 1-hour slots.
Make sure you take travel to and back from the University into account when creating your programme.
Consider making use of the University’s Library to study between lectures.
It is important to make room for free time. A simple rule such as “never work weekends” could be enough to give you the mental space to relax and remain efficient in your studies.
- Allocate the hours for each course into an appropriate number of slots.
- Consider the resulting programme. How many hours of study are allocated to each day? Are study times close to the related course lectures?
- Move the hours around until you have a schedule that you are comfortable with. You might want to move study time to the day before the relevant lecture.
As the Semester goes on, there will be times where you won’t be able to stick to this plan. Even if this is a regular occurrence, it does not have to break your schedule. Simply move the lost study time into one or more empty slots for the week.
There will be weeks during the semester where you will have to increase the amount of time spent studying a course; Typically relating to coursework. Plan ahead.