1.3.2 Study Time

Finding Your Study Time

One of the most difficult aspects of being an adult student is fitting in your studying with everything else in your life. It is important both to find enough time to study, and to try to make the most effective use of your time. Finding enough time can be quite a challenge! It often means giving up some activities you currently enjoy or perhaps negotiating with your family and friends to pass on some of the daily chores or to allow you some time to yourself. You could try the 4D method:

  • Defer. There may be things you think you must do but that you can put off for a while.
  • Delegate. There may be things you do outside your classwork that you can get someone else to do, giving you more time to devote to your studies.
  • Downgrade. There may be things you don't have to do quite so perfectly, and maybe you can spend a bit less time doing those.
  • Decommit. This is a fancy way of saying there may be things you don’t have to do at all.

Even a ten-minute slot in your schedule can be used for recapping previous work, sorting out paperwork, planning future work, or working through an example/activity or two. So any time you have is valuable time!

One more thought: Having found some time, it is also worth thinking about whether this is the best time for you to study. Consider the times of day and the lengths of sessions where you work most productively. For example, if you know you are going to lose concentration after a half-hour or so, and also that you are just too tired to study in the evenings, it is probably a good idea to schedule your study time for new topics in half-hour slots in the morning, and use the evenings for other chores.

A timer might be useful when you’re studying. Some people like to work in 25-minute bursts and then take a five-minute break.

If you want to try this, there are many online timers available, such as this one [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

1.3.1 Where Did the Time Go?

1.3.3 Taking Notes