Written by Dominic Giuliano
So you’ve got your offer letter and you’re ready to start your degree. Welcome aboard!
However, this new opportunity comes with some challenges.
One common challenge for commencing students is balancing work, study, social life, and self-care without becoming overwhelmed.
If you’re thinking this, you’re not alone!
University is challenging no matter what you study.
But don’t worry – the challenge inspires personal growth.
One of the ways to overcome these challenges is to become a wizard of time management – so let’s take a look at 5 techniques that can take your skills to the next level
Uni is a bit different from school – it’s all on you to keep yourself on track!
Get motivated before tackling new challenges by adopting a self-management approach.
See yourself as both the manager and employee: put in the work (study) like a diligent employee, then reward yourself like a great manager would.
To enhance the experience, think of some personal rewards – whether it’s music, socialising, or tasty snacks – to make the journey more enjoyable.
This simple strategy can make studying a more positive and satisfying experience.
2. Planning and Scheduling:
Don’t let the word “deadline” scare you – it can actually be your friend.
Without a clear end goal, staying focused is like wandering around in a forest without a map. For a deadline to become your pal, you need to do a few things first:
- Grab a calendar (whether it’s old-school paper or a snazzy digital version – both work). Display it proudly.
- Before each session, insert all the important dates (for commencing students, this includes assessment due dates, grade release dates, semester breaks) and any other life activities, work shifts etc.
Quick reminder: Make it your own!
It’s not about being perfect, but about getting a bit better each time. Let that calendar be your guide to a stress-free and organised life.
3. Setting goals and checkpoints
Now that you know when things are due, let’s set some targets!
Break down your tasks into bite-sized pieces – it’s like making a to-do list but better.
For an assessment, think reading, drafting, editing, proofing, and finally, submission.
This way, no task feels too overwhelming, and you get that sweet satisfaction after each mini-goal.
And don’t forget those rewards you picked out earlier – sprinkle them in as motivation boosts.
Treat yourself along the way to keep the momentum going!
4. Managing time
We’ve all got the same 168 hours a week – no exceptions!
Take a peek at your last week: any big chunks of time just hanging out doing nothing?
Let’s turn those into productivity powerhouses.
Managing time isn’t just about scheduling; it’s also about ditching the pointless stuff that adds zero value to your life.
Time to make those 168 hours count!
5. Managing distractions
Our brains love soaking up info, but in our tech-filled world, dodging distractions is a superpower.
Boost your mental game with these tips:
- Block outside noise: Research shows listening to brown noise while studying helps drown out external sound and fall into deeper states of concentration (helpful for studying in noisy libraries or home offices).
Click here for an example.
- Sprint and rest: Use the Pomodoro Technique – focus hard for 25 minutes, then chill for 5. Perfect for diving into mini-tasks or breezing through readings.
- Embrace distractions: After intense focus, let your mind wander.
If you’re Pomodoro-ing, use breaks for enjoyable stuff, like vibing out to your favourite tunes.
Make working for yourself a blast!
Setting small goals and focusing intensely makes studying more satisfying.
Nail a task, feel that dopamine hit, and repeat.
Small efforts stack up!