How to Design a Study Schedule that Works for You
Are you a procrastinator who puts off homework for as long as possible then rushes to get things finished? Do you find yourself cramming for exams at the last minute, causing you to feel anxious and overwhelmed when you should be calm and focused?
The best way to overcome these problems is to design a study schedule that suits your needs, helping you feel confident and in control of your work.
These questions encourage self-awareness, helping you create a schedule that you can stick to:
What are your goals?
Be clear about what goals you want to achieve when designing your study plan. You need to ensure you’ve allocated enough time for homework, assignments and revision, giving priority to tasks that are most urgent. You should revise your plan regularly and allow for flexibility.
It’s important to be realistic and factor in other commitments. If you’re overly ambitious and allocate too many hours to study, you may become demoralised when you can’t keep up.
What is your learning style?
Everyone has a preferred learning style. The three basic styles are visual, auditory and kinesthetic. You can take an online quiz to find out which category you fall into.
Auditory learners absorb information best when they hear things explained and benefit from listening to recorded lectures and participating in study groups. As these learners are highly sensitive to noise, it’s a good idea to study in a quiet place free from distractions.
Kinesthetic learners are physical and find it difficult to sit still for extended periods, so if this is your style, include frequent breaks in your schedule and use the time to move around. Visual learners prefer information presented in visual form so part of your study session should involve creating graphs and diagrams.
What are the obstacles?
Designing your schedule to suit your learning style will make studying more enjoyable, helping you persevere, but you also need to be aware of obstacles that can derail your study session.
If you find it hard to ignore messages on your phone, turn it off or set it to busy so you can’t be contacted. Make sure your family knows you’re not to be disturbed. Eat before you begin studying and have snacks and a drink on your desk so you don’t have to make a trip to the kitchen.
What do you need?
Your study zone should be a comfortable and welcoming place where you feel motivated to learn. If it’s messy and disogranised, clean it up before you put your schedule in place. Make sure everything you need is close by.
It also helps to have someone to hold you to account. This can be a parent, learning partner, study group or tutor.
What else can you do?
You’re much more likely to stick to a schedule when you’re healthy and relaxed, so make sure you’re eating properly and getting enough sleep. Try meditation and mindfulness if you’re feeling stressed, and don’t forget to leave enough time for fun.
The secret to a successful study schedule is a well-balanced life.