Saturday, 1 August 2015

How to Make a Study Timetable


I pride myself on being a reasonably organised person (even if the current state of my bedroom may suggest otherwise), and organising my time efficiently while at university. I have found over the years that if I don't have a somewhat structured, hour-by-hour plan set in motion then I'll probably end up on Netflix or Tumblr for hours. (seriously, that's a talent in itself. If only there was a degree based around my laziness...)

This plan began when I was studying for my exams at high school. Having six weeks 'study time' away from the confines of a classroom meant that I had to take sole control of how I spent my time. Which gave me a good enough reason to write a list of all the work I needed to do so I could then plan when I was going to do it. And now that I'm at university, I'm even more in control of my time, meaning that a weekly timetable really helps me out!

And here's how I do it...

(NOTE: for the purpose of this post, this timetable will be based on one of my 'busier' weeks at university. I don't always have this much going on, but a blank timetable wouldn't be very helpful!)

First, I make a note of all the work due that week and on what day, what time. This means that I can fit in studying/homework around the times that I'm in class, and I can make the final preparations to a piece right before that class.

Next, I fill in all the lectures/tutorials/other university commitments I have that week. Some weeks I only have 3 tutorials and 9 lectures, others (like this one) I have 4 or 5 tutorials and 12 lectures! It really does vary each week. (and you may notice that French is quite a high maintenance subject compared to my other two...) I like to use a colour-coding system, so lectures/tutorials are in a darker shade of the same colour as the corresponding study sessions to each subject. That sounds more complicated than it is, the photos should explain that a lot clearer than I just did!

Based on this, I can then organise and prioritise my work on a day-by-day basis. After a while you can work out how long each piece of tutorial preparation/reading will take you, meaning you can devote more time to other, more time-consuming assignments. You'll also notice that I'll start next week's work as soon as I can too. This saves me stressing about it on Sunday night!

I don't like working beyond 9pm, so I try to get as much done in the mornings so I can relax in the evening. If you're a night owl, evening work might suit you better! I also leave a lot of blank spaces towards the end of the week, as I like to have some chill time on Friday nights and Saturday afternoons. I occasionally go home at the weekends, so this is usually the time that I would meet my friends and catch up!

I also like working in 45 minute bursts, as I get distracted easily! This gives me a little 15 minute break between study sessions. Some of my friends prefer working for 5 hours straight and that's perfectly okay, you've just got to figure out what works for you!

You can find timetable templates easily enough online, but I like to make my own and photocopy them so I never run short!

You may also prefer to make a timetable on your computer instead, but personally I like the satisfaction of marking each box with a big red cross when I've completed each task!

I hope this gives you a bit of inspiration when it comes to planning your university/school/college timetable. Remember to give yourself plenty of breaks to avoid a buildup of stress!

If you have any other timetable tips, please let me know!

Speak soon!

Chloe x