Studying when time isn’t on your side

The world we live in is increasingly fast-paced and we are all time poor. Here’s your fast-tracked guide to getting the most out of your day:

Bite-sized chunks.

Study in bite-sized chunks, for example short 10 or 20 minute bursts throughout the day. Look at your daily schedule for small windows where you can read a journal article, make an essay plan or write one paragraph of a report.

Reading while you have your morning coffee, revising while waiting to pick your kids up or taking notes on four pages of your nursing text during a lunch break can make a big difference to what you get accomplished over the course of a week.

Plan, plan, plan.

If you have limited time to commit to study, you need to make every minute count. Not wasting time figuring out what you need to do will supercharge your study time.

Plan your week before Monday morning rolls around and categorise your list of to-do tasks under: reading, note-taking, writing, research. Keep this list visible on your desk, as well as in your phone.

Manage your desk.

Have your desk clear, so you can stay organised at all times to sit down and work without having to sort through piles of paper or mess.

Pack a dedicated work bag which can fit your laptop, textbooks, a notebook, pens and any other study essentials. Having the tools you need ready to go will help you make the most of snatched study opportunities.

Know your load.

Have a clear picture of your study load from the beginning. Know when assessment tasks are due, look at your schedule over the whole semester and highlight weeks that look nightmarish. This way you can set pre-due dates for yourself to spread out the workload.

Shuffle the hours.

Consider dropping the late-night study sessions for a morning power hour. One hour in the morning before family, work, friends and other demands start rolling in will make a huge difference.

Plus, whatever the day throws out you, you have already smashed out a good chunk of study.

Multi-task.

Can you listen to a recorded lecture while you make dinner or drive to Uni?

Can you supervise kids’ homework while you do a final read through of that report due tomorrow?

Power hour.

Time your micro-study sessions and turn off all notifications while you work. You will be surprised by how much you can power through in short, focused bursts of time.

Reach out.

If you feel at all unsure about how to proceed with a particular task, then get help quickly. Look at your subject outline, ask a friend in the class and ask your tutor or lecturer. Knowing how to approach a task can be half the battle.