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Time management skills

Managing your time is a key element in successful study. This series of articles shows you how you can best organise the time you have available and motivate yourself to use it wisely.

For specific advice and support relating to your current study please contact your tutor, or go to your module website or study guide.

Finding a strategy

Your study guide tells you know how many hours you need to find each week for your study, and it would be easy if it was just a matter of, say, allocating two hours a day to your module and your time management was done. But most OU students have busy lives which sometimes conflict with their study plans, and everyone suffers from a lack of motivation on occasion, whether they are busy or not.

You will probably find that during your studies you'll use several different approaches to time management, depending on other demands and the experience you gain of what works best for you.

In this video, OU student Gareth, shares his tips for effective time management.

Effective time management tips

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Hi. My name is Gareth and I would like to share with you my top tips for effective time management when studying with the Open University.

The first tip is for before you even picked up a book, you need to consider how much spare time you have. And be realistic, you’re not going to be able to study in every spare moment of the day. You also want to make allowances but still having a social life and for the moment, which will happen, where you have no motivation to study at all.

When you do start studying take consideration of the time of day in which you are studying. I know for me if I try to study late in the evening or into the early hours, I start to get tired and I lose concentration. When this happens I don’t absorb the information first time and it’s a waste of time going back over material I’ve already covered.

The same thing will happen if you try to study for too much in one go. So take regular breaks. For me I try studying for 25 minutes in one go and then I have a five-minute break. During them five-minute breaks I try to get up, walk around and get some fresh air where possible.

Now for the most important tip, avoid distractions. Procrastination is a student’s worse enemy. So, turn off that social media, close down any unused web browser pages and tell your family you’re going to be studying so they don’t disturb you.

Finally, make use of any spare time you have. This could be whether you commute to work, you could be cooking your food, or you could be even on a lunch break. These short bursts of studying will be really concentrated and you’ll absorb a lot of information. But what you’ll feel is not a lot of effort.

Last updated 1 month ago