Sponsored by Griffith University:
Thinking of online study to expand your knowledge and advance your career? Sure, it sounds easy, but in reality, it takes a lot of time to study when you’re schedule is already full. Work and family already take up more time than there are hours in the day, so what do you do?
Don’t give up! Instead, follow these five tips to make time to study.
1. Set Specific Study Times
If you don’t block specific study times off on your calendar, you’re far less likely to stop everything else that you’re doing and study. Therefore, open up your online calendar and block off specific study times each week.
Go one step further and set up mobile notifications so there’s no way you can miss your study times. When that notification goes off, it’s study time, and you need to treat that time just as you would any other commitment. Don’t cancel at the last minute!
2. Eliminate Distractions
During your study time, you must eliminate all other distractions. Turn off your phone, close all of your social media profiles on your computer, log out of your email, and turn off all desktop notifications.
Shut your door and tell your family or roommate that you can’t be interrupted until your study time is over. Since you already set a specific study time in #1 above, you can set your friends’ and family’s expectations in advance. They’ll know when your study time starts and ends and can plan around it.
3. Identify How and When You Learn Best
Do you focus and learn best in the morning, afternoon, or night? Are you more productive when you work in small chunks of time or large blocks of time? Everyone is different, and it’s up to you to test different study schedules to determine which works best for you.
Since you’re studying online, all you need is a laptop or tablet and you can study on-the-go, during your lunch break, waiting for appointments, and so on. Use every minute to your advantage, but don’t waste time trying to study at times that you know aren’t productive and useful to you.
4. Create a Study Schedule
When you’re at work, you might already use project management and task tools to get your work done (and if you’re not, you should definitely give them a try). Why not use one to get your studying done, too?
For example, Griffith University’s Study Planner is a tool that helps you identify where you can fit online study into your busy life by creating a personalized study schedule based on your existing work and personal commitments.
5. Get Support
Studying when your schedule already seems full won’t work unless everyone around you understands and supports your goals. You’ll need support from your school, instructors, family, friends, colleagues, and boss.
Make sure they all understand what you’re trying to accomplish and how it will affect your relationships with them. When you need help, ask for it. Your support system is useless if you don’t actually ask for help and use it.
Make Time Where You Think It Doesn’t Exist
The trick to studying when you don’t have time is to realize that you can actually carve out study time in your already full schedule. With some prioritization, organization, and focus, even the busiest person can do it! Follow the tips above to get started.