Managing your time
- Drawing up a weekly study timetable can help to focus your time, but it's hard to stick to a timetable while juggling university and family life and other things you may have on like a job. Instead, try setting personal goals for each day, so you can stay focused even while grabbing fifteen minutes' study time in the doctor's waiting room.
- Staying organised is one of the best ways to save time: filing away lecture notes straight away takes a little bit longer at the time, but saves time and stress hunting for them later.
- Prioritize: Working out which tasks are most important is an obvious way to manage your time, but make sure you keep
- Try to get hold of your timetable in advance to you can work out your schedule. Universities often finalise these very late, so if you can't get it, ask for a draft version or last year's.
- Try to stick to a reliable schedule: it's much easier to spend quality time with your family when you know what you're doing when
- Lots of student parents feel guilty when they start leaving their child to study. Remember that you're doing it for their benefit as well as yours. Try talking to other student parents. If you're really struggling, your Student Services department should be able to put you in touch with a counsellor.
On foot, on the bus or in a car, travel time seems like dead time, but there are a few things you can do to make the most of it.
- If you're not driving, you can brush up on old notes. It's not a great time to learn new material, but taking the chance to refresh what you've learned already can give you a head start when you start revising for exams
- If your university provides recordings of some lectures, you might be able to listen to these while travelling
- Travelling time can be useful for getting tasks like phonecalls out of the way.
- Work out what you can do where to keep travel time to a minimum. For example, lots of students' unions have things like shops and hairdressers at reasonable prices, so you can pick up some milk or get a trim in between lectures.
- If you have a placement as part of your course, don't forget that it could have a big impact on your travel time.
- When you've got spare time, you really can "save time" like you save money. Think of things you can do in advance, from preparing blank timetables to fill in each week to writing the year's birthday cards.