Planning your time is the first step to effective management. Try to look ahead and plan what to do when.
Sign in to see the video content available to OU students.
- Make sure you are very familiar with your module.
- What is required to pass the module?
- When are the assignment cut-off dates?
- What are the learning outcomes?
- How much time do you need to allocate to study?
Planning your study time
- Plan ahead by creating a schedule that includes all your commitments relating to study, work, and personal or social life for the next few months. You could use your study calendar for this by adding the other commitments you have.
- Recommended study time is around 100 hours study for each 10 points of a module. So work out how much study time you need to put aside and review this regularly as you go through your studies
- Do the most difficult work when your concentration is strongest
- Take regular breaks, perhaps every hour
- Be flexible - reflect on whether your study pattern is successful. For example, if you are getting less done in the evenings than you hoped, try something different, perhaps by studying in the early morning.
"I'm really a morning person, but I might think about doing a bit before dinner though if I'm home at a reasonable time. It's worth studying for half an hour or so at a time - over a week it adds up."
To set priorities use this foursquare grid (DOC, 234 KB). It helps you to classify everything according to importance and urgency, so you identify and work on the tasks that are important and urgent first.
Use this useful time calculator to identify how you spend your time:
- Excel version of Study time calculator (XLSX, 32.83 KB)
- Word version of Study time calculator (DOC, 253.5 KB)
Make life easier
When time is tight, decide what is not going to be done - or will have to be done differently - by remembering the 4Ds:
- Do it
- Dump it
- Delegate it, or
- Do it less well.