Manage your time like a pro

As humans, we often feel as though we do not have enough time, or we find ourselves losing track of time. These challenges can certainly come into play as a student. That is why our CQUni Student Accessibility and Equity team have shared their tips to help you make the most of the time you have available to study.

Remember, there is the hard reality that we all have a 168 hour week, no more, no less, and finding time to study and making the most of this time can sometimes feel like a mammoth task.

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Our first tip is to take your time (pun intended) to understand and become aware of the fact we cannot create more time, as much as we wish we could.

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The next thing you need to do is undertake a time audit.

Work out in concrete terms how much actual time you have available for study. Consider your:

  • daily routine
  • sleep habits
  • work and family commitments
  • household responsibilities
  • exercise
  • community or voluntary participation
  • social activities (including online).
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The time leftover is your study time.

Remember, the university recommends you allow at least 10-12 hours a week study time per unit. If you do not have enough time, consider the following and make the reasonable adjustments:

  • Do you have options to postpone or delegate other responsibilities?
  • Can you take time off work during deadline periods?
  • Do you need to revisit your study load?
  • Can a Course Adviser help?
  • If you are living with any health challenges that may impact on your studies do you need to reach out to the Accessibility and Equity team?
  • Is that 10-12 hours a week a realistic benchmark for you?
  • Do you have regular medical appointments or treatment, is this factored into your time audit?
  • Does the reality of time match your expectations about what is achievable?

Once you have audited your time and determined how much time you have to study, you need to get organised.

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Organise yourself by creating a term planner. At the beginning of term map out your study commitments.

Review your unit profiles and make note of key dates, deadlines and assessment weightings.

As a guide, allow a week’s study time for every 10% an assignment is worth. For example, if your assignment is worth 30%, that means it will take at least three weeks preparation.

Mark the start dates on your planner as well as submission dates. It is often easier to find the energy to focus on getting started, than focus on the due date and watch time disappear as it draws closer.

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Break each assessment into 30-minute tasks and apply these to whatever weekly planning tool you may use. There are heaps to choose from so try different methods and see what works best for you. Options include:

  • Wall planners
  • Lists
  • Diaries
  • Colour-coding
  • Reminders in your phone
  • E-Tools
  • Office 365 apps.

Just remember that time invested in using tools should outweigh the time taken to use them!

Make sure you take note of any factors that may impact on your progress. Is there anything you can do to mitigate these? Getting started early can help put some ‘time credit’ in the bank.

Determine your best time to study, are you a morning or night person? Ensure you prioritise the priorities – getting one or two essential tasks completed every day will help to boost your motivation to keep going.

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Watch out for procrastination – these time vampires can creep up unexpectedly and may come in the form of anxiety, distractions, putting things off or daydreaming.

Get started, set priorities, break tasks up into little chunks and reward yourself after each one.

Identify your distractions and block them out, set firm boundaries with yourself and others. This study time is precious to achieve your overarching goal to complete your course.

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Taking regular brain breaks to rest, recharge and reframe will help and often those things that may want to steal your attention can be boundaries in a rest break. For example, check social media for 10 minutes before coming back to the task.

Sometimes study does not always go according to plan so monitor your stress levels and your sense of wellbeing. Get familiar with the assessment policy to know your options with extensions, deferring exams or adjusting your study load. CQUni’s Student Counselling and Wellbeing team can offer a confidential space to build stress management tools or decision making if you need to make a change.

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If you experience ongoing impacts on your study as a result of your health, wellbeing or a long term medical condition or disability, contact the Student Accessibility & Equity team. They provide personalised support to help you achieve your study goals and assist with managing your time.

Student Accessibility & Equity
Phone: 07 4930 9456
Email: accessibility@cqu.edu.au


International Day of People with Disability

International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) is held on 3 December each year. This year’s theme is ‘See the ability in disability’.

IDPwD is a United Nations observed day celebrated internationally. It aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability and celebrate their achievements and contributions.

Information on how you can get involved in the day as an individual or organisation and how to break down barriers (both structural and attitudinal) for people with disability can be found online.

If you want to get involved with this day at CQUni, reach out to our Student Accessibility and Equity team.

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