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How to manage your time when studying

by University of Liverpool Library on 2021-11-18T15:50:53+00:00 | Comments

Man working at a laptop and drinking coffee

Create a study plan

Study plans can be very useful if you struggle to manage a work-life-study balance. When creating a study plan, it’s important to be realistic with when you schedule time to study, don't get carried away and create an unrealistic plan that is impossible to stick to. Start by working out when you can’t study by thinking about the other tasks and activities you need to do and how long you spend doing them.

It can be useful to create a physical timetable so you can see when you are busy and should not plan to study and colour coding by category can be useful too.

Break up your tasks

Once you have identified when you can study, you can start to fill these slots with your tasks. Having large items in your study timetable can be quite overwhelming so it can be helpful to break these items into smaller, more manageable tasks.

Once you have broken down your task, think about how long each element involved might take and you can then slot these into your study plan. If you can, try to study when you know you are most productive. Think about whether you usually achieve more early in the day or later on and schedule your work around these times.

Even with the best intentions and most detailed study plan, life can often get in the way and mean that more tasks appear than we had anticipated. This is when it becomes important to be able to prioritise your workload and decide which tasks should be done straight away, and which can be scheduled to do later.

Beat procrastination

Believe it or not, planning breaks into your study plan can actually help you to avoid procrastination. Make sure you have scheduled other activities into your study plan, such as going to the gym or meeting friends, so you have things to look forward to.

  • Try the Pomodoro technique, where you focus on work for 25 minutes, have a 5 minute break and then repeat. This will help you to focus on a task for a dedicated amount of time before taking a short break.
  • Tell someone else what you want to achieve that day – you might be more likely to finish something if you know someone may ask you about it later.
  • Ease yourself in slowly – give yourself time to get used to your new study plan and don’t schedule too many things in.

Further tips and resources

Attend our KnowHow Managing Your Time online webinar for more tips about how to manage your time effectively.

Complete the KnowHow Time Management Tutorial in your own time to develop a study plan that works for you.

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