What you will learn
The key to keeping on track of your studies is to organise yourself - carefully organising your study time so you can juggle family and other personal commitments. This means getting into the habit of planning! Planning is the basis of good time management. It allows you to track what you are doing, monitor what you have already done and how much time you have available to you. Whether it's short-term or long-term planning, creating a plan will give you guidance and direction, allowing you to manage your time more effectively.
Planning and organising your study load is important, but it is also important to get the balance right so that you can go from the planning stage and move into actually getting started!
Having goals is a good way to motivate yourself and get you started. When setting goals, consider breaking down your work into achievable goals rather than being overly ambitious. The video below shows you how to use the SMART goals method to create clear and achievable goals that you can actually work with.
Tips for setting goals:
And remember to reward yourself when you successfully complete a task (call a friend, check your emails or get a snack).
The activity below will show you how to tackle your assignment by breaking down your goal (of completing an assignment) into mini-goals, and into achievable tasks.
In the activity place the mini tasks for writing an assignment in the correct order.
Get into the habit of practising self-reflection! Reviewing and reflecting on your day, week or activities can help you monitor your progress and keep you on track and make a conscious choice of whether you are committed to carrying it out. Ask yourself:
Once you have made a conscious, deliberate choice that you are committed to doing something, you will give yourself the best chance of doing well. And remember, discussing and sharing your experiences with others (peers, tutors) can help you gain a different perspective.
Being mindfull is another useful technique for developing good study habits. Try focusing on the present moment, totally engaged with the task that you are working on. This way, you will be able to work more efficiently and productively.
Check out some of the useful resources available to help you develop mindfulness.
Get into the habit of seeking assistance when you are struggling with your studies. It is best to ask for help as soon as possible instead of wasting too much time trying to solve the problem yourself. Consider consulting your tutor and lecturer in the first instance but also remember that your classmates and friends may also be a great source of help.
You will also want to take advantage of the academic support programs that are offered by the university. For example, the Library offers online programs and workshops to help you develop your academic research and study skills.
And remember, it is important to take responsibility for yourself and your own learning!