Being an OU student
Being an OU student

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Being an OU student

4.1 Time management strategies

As with study tips there are also many ways to manage your time. Here are some students sharing their time management experiences and strategies. 

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: I have to budget my time, because I predominantly work unsociable hours. So if I'm working early, I usually find that I'm curled up under a blanket and spend a good couple of hours a night reading or going online and accessing resources. If I'm working late, I tend to do some work in the morning. And I budget my time throughout the week and think, a few hours here, a few hours there. And it's important to make sure that you balance your work/life time too. But you do put in the effort for studying.
Personally, in my OU journey, what I've found most successful is to make a clear plan at the start of the week, almost a half hour by half hour timetable of work, study, other activities. I even go grocery shopping on the plan, which sounds a little bit obsessive. But it works for me. Every student I know has done it a little bit differently. So I think that's a good thing. You can find what works for you.
I have fallen behind on my studies, because life happens. You get sick. You go on a holiday, all that kind of thing. And really, all I had to do was speak to my tutors. And they would let me know if there was anything I really had to do, like you need to do Section 2.3, because that's mentioned in your TMA. As long as you plan ahead for any disruptions and try and keep up the rest of the time, then it's pretty easy to catch up. And if you do have problems, then you just need to speak to your tutor.
I have been an OU student for 8 years, so I have fallen behind. And I think I fell behind about 10 hours, maybe a bit more. But I was able to scrape myself back in by thinking of it in this way. One hour consists of two 30-minute blocks. If I do four 30-minute blocks in a day, that is two hours. If I do five of those, that is, what, 10 hours? So that's how I broke it down, by doing little blocks of studying. And in no time, I was back on track, and things were OK. And I'll tell you something. This wasn't early on in my OU career. It was quite a long time. I'm still falling behind now. And I scrape myself back, because life is complicated and messy. And sometimes studying has to come second. Don't feel bad if you fall behind. If you fall behind to the extent that you can't see a way out, don't worry. Don't berate yourself. It happens to us all. Contact your tutor. And there is support there in the form of your tutor, or the OU staff, and even your fellow students. You are not alone. It is not something to be embarrassed about or ashamed of. It happens to us all, because even though we are superheroes, we do not have superpowers- not yet anyway.
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Are there any tips you think you could use?

Activity 2 Developing time management skills

Timing: Allow about 20 minutes

Read through this article from the Help Centre which is focused on developing your time management skills [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

As you go through, make a notes of some of the things you’ll try when you start your studies. You might also want to save this article in the Help Centre (see Session 2, Activity 5).

Even with the best laid plans, things can happen that affect them. This is normal. So, what can you do if you fall behind?


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