Having more of an idea of what the semester has in store – assignments, timetables, social events – makes week one the perfect time to take control of your semester. The problem is these plans can end up bearing little resemblance to our actual priorities…
… which can lead to stressful assignment writing and unfortunate surprises. So we’ve put together our top tips to make your planning more practical, meaningful, and successful.
Start by planning your plan. Studywell recommends a really practical approach where you manage all levels of your time: semester deadlines, weekly timetable, and daily tasks. (You can find out more about this at the time management session or presentation).
You can use this approach and/or the following tips to get the most of your planning:
- Get the most out of your semester planner. Make sure your deadlines are meaningful. Write up details about your assignment, not just the due date, but the unit and the type of assessment you have to prepare. Place your planner somewhere visible, so that you can track your semester deadlines week by week. Don’t forget to include public holidays, and other key dates.
- In a weekly timetable, include all your commitments, such as work, social events, sport etc. This is essential to making sure your planning is realistic, so that you can allow yourself enough time to complete tasks.
- Use a weekly timetable to set aside some uni time, which isn’t taken up with classes. This should be dedicated time that works for you, whether that’s a desk at home or a comfortable space in the library. This is an important step in keeping up with weekly readings, revision, and tutorial activities.
- A daily list is also a good way of prioritizing and working towards your deadlines. Whether it is a paper list, a notebook or your phone’s reminder function, find something that works for you.
- Specific goals make your to do list effective. Deciding to spend an hour on uni work is great, but it also leaves an open space to check facebook, have a long coffee break, get distracted…. if you set yourself an achievable, specific goal for your time (summarizing this week’s key reading) it’s easier to keep focused.
This is just one example of a time management approach and there are lots of study skills resources available. We’d love to hear what works (and doesn’t work) for you. Drop us a line below or tweet @qutlibrary