When it comes to university there are lots of tasks you need to keep track of and manage. For example, a typical university week could involve going to five lectures, doing the 5 lots of reading, maybe a bit of extra research and a seminar or two. This is before we consider the relaxing and spending time with friends that are critical for maintaining your mental health.
Therefore, from that quick paragraph we know there is a lot to do at university, but can this get any busier?
Add to that typical week, the researching and writing of a piece of coursework then you could have a bit of a time management problem.
Thankfully in today’s post I’m going to tell you three tips to help you!
(And too many professionals have called me the Master of Time Management so I think you’re in good hands)
Prioritise and Breaking Down Tasks:
I know this sounds so simple and so easy and yet it is often the easy things we don’t think will work. But I promise you if you start to prioritize your workload, things will get so much easier. Prioritising allows you to see what tasks are actually important and when you should do them.
For example, if your module sets you to write a five thousand word essay in three weeks, in addition to all the reading and lectures you normally have. At first this sounds awful and like the worse thing imaginable, but you need to take a step back and break the task down.
An essay can easily be broken down into a few stages: researching, writing the introduction, three/ four main body paragraphs, the critical thinking sections, and the conclusion. Then, the formatting, proofreading and submitting.
Again, ten things sounds awful.
However, you need to remember that some of these take less time than others, and your prioritising will be handy.
In this example, you have three weeks to write the essay. Thus, you could prioritise your readings for that week’s lecture first, then you could spend the rest of the week researching your essay. Meaning that’s done by Friday or Sunday night.
The next week, you could again prioritise the readings and seminar prep for that week. Giving you the rest of the week to write the introduction, main body and critical thinking sections.
In the last week, you might want to switch the priorities around so you finish writing the essay, do the proofreading, formatting and submit it before you do that week’s reading.
In all honesty, you need to decide what works best for you and how you work. The example above was only a quick example of how you could potentially break down a task into more manageable chunks. Then prioritising your existing workload with your coursework.
Overall, I cannot stress enough that if you break down the sections of what your coursework contains then it does seem a lot more manageable and easier to do. Since you can do one section at a time and feel like you’re making progress towards completing an amazing piece of coursework.
Personally, this is my favourite method and this is how I’m able to do so much in the different areas of my life. I loosely schedule everything in a balanced way that allows me to do lots of things.
For example, when I had a psychology essay to write, I would schedule Monday and Tuesday to be time where I focused on that week’s lectures and readings, as well as since this is was all online all the lectures were pre-recorded.
Then for the rest of the week, I could easily work on my essay but I scheduled it in a sustainable way. For example, after breakfast, I would go on the bike, do some exercise as this helps to maintain mental health. Then I would shower before spending an hour on my essay. Afterwards I would have a break (have a KitKat!) where I would talk to parents and do socially based things before having another hour on my essay. I would repeat this another two times.
Resulting in me having four hours of focused essay time.
However, the reason why scheduling is so important to me is because scheduling allowed me to still work on my essay for four hours but it allowed me to easily fit in other things. Like, exercise, social activities, breaks and more. And I’ll tell you something, I didn’t get stressed once about my essay.
The entire point of this post wasn’t about providing official advice or tips. This was an awareness post to get you thinking about what you might want to do and the tricks to use to try and make your life easier. Here at Active-Class, we understand the difficulties of higher education and want to help students organise and schedule their time in the best way for each individual.
Of course, my scheduling and priorities might not work for you, but something else might. So, try them! think about what works for you and your life.
Essays don’t have to be hard or traumatic, so please don’t feel like they have to be. Learn habits, learn skills, just learn ways to make coursework less stressful for you, and you should be fine.
University can be a great time in your life, don’t let coursework bog you down!