Whether it’s balancing deadlines, making it to lectures on time or just keeping all your notes in one place, being able to effectively manage your time and stay organised is a big part of independent learning and a skill that will certainly make university much easier.
Student tips for managing your time & workload
Apple or Google online calendars or your Outlook calendar (connected to your student email) are fantastic because they can be accessed anywhere. It will be unbelievably handy to know what your week is going to look like when someone asks you when you are next free.
You can add your deadlines, exams, and meetings as well – this way you can visually see what it is you have to do and can plan your time around it, ensuring you don’t miss anything and it should also help you to prioritise your deadlines.
As well as listing deadlines in order of due date, also make a schedule so it’s clear how long you have to spend on each assessment. This way you won’t end up spending too much time on one and not leave enough time for another.
It’s generally a good rule to prioritise the work that is due first. However, if you hit a roadblock when doing one piece of work, switching gears and doing something else may help you come up with new ideas.
Once you arrive, be proactive! Look on Blackboard for your module handbooks and your reading lists. Make sure that you have all the books you need (look in the Library and for free ebooks first before buying) and create a schedule for what you need to have read by when.
Writing a to-do list makes everything that much clearer. To-do lists make bigger tasks seem that much smaller, by using them to break up something difficult into sections to make it easier to tackle.
If you’re faced with a big assignment, break it down into small manageable chunks and assign one task to do each day. You could talk this trough with a friend or your tutor so you know you are on the right track. This will really help you to put things back into perspective, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Throw the idea of multitasking out the window. Concentrate on one piece of work at a time to avoid confusion.
This will always help you be able to concentrate. Try and keep your workspace separate from your leisure space if you can.
It’s easier said than done, but avoid procrastinating where possible. Don’t watch TV in the background as this will cause inevitable distraction. If you can’t work in silence, listen to music that won’t distract you. If necessary, do a little bit of work at a time.
You should always factor into your schedule hours where you are doing something other than work. By doing this you are able to ‘refresh’ your mind, and it is likely you’ll view your work with a clear head when you come back to it.
Sometimes finding a ‘study buddy’ can help you maintain motivation and focus. Knowing that a like-minded friend is also committed to spending some quality time studying ca be a great motivator. By supporting each other and setting each other small study challenges you’ll be surprised how much you can achieve in a short space of time.
Reward yourself or have something to look forward to. Whether it’s watching a TV show, a night out, a takeaway or simply a piece of chocolate, having something to look forward to when you’ve finished will help to keep you motivated.
Motivation & organisation
Time management - Skills for Study
All University of Lincoln students have access to the learning resource hub Skills for Study, provided by the Library.
Follow this link to a Time management module and complete topics on:
- Planning and prioritising
- Time management techniques
You will need to login using your University of Lincoln credentials to access this learning resource, use the Get started with Skills for Study guide for help accessing and using the modules.
You are expected to attend all of your timetabled lectures, but if you cannot make it, it is very important that you contact your tutor ahead of a seminar or lecture and explain and provide a reason for non-attendance.
This can be done easily by sending them an email. If you do not attend without notification you will be marked on the register as absent.
Continuous absence will require further investigation and students will be asked to explain their non-attendance to their tutor.