Are you trying to study at home by yourself but finding it impossible to motivate yourself and get into a groove? Want to know how you can adapt and kick your academic goals for the rest of the semester? The secret comes in a well-planned and organised home study timetable. Whether you are a seasoned professional or this is your first time trying to study at home, a study timetable will keep you on track, accountable, and ready to tackle the rest of the semester (self-isolation and all).

Be specific

There is no use in having a study timetable unless you clearly specify what work you are going to do in a certain time-frame. For example, instead of writing “9am-11am: study for LAWS4003” you should write “9am-11am: LAWS4003- prepare for Seminar (review slides) and prepare answers to the Seminar questions”.

Being specific will significantly enhance productivity by giving you a particular task to work on. You will come to your desk when you start studying knowing exactly what you are going to do!

Quantify

Wherever applicable, quantify your study goals and once again be specific about what you want to achieve. For example, instead of saying “work on my assignment” write “add 300 words to the body of the essay”.

Make it visible

 Once you’ve crafted this amazing study timetable you need to put it on display! I personally like to use whiteboards however you can use whatever suits your preference. That could be a spare piece of paper, a digital Excel spreadsheet, or a calendar in your day-planner. The point is that you need to see it to keep yourself accountable!

Schedule in breaks

Rest and recovery while you are studying is incredibly important, now more so than ever.  I like to give myself around 20- 30 minutes break per every 2 hours of study. Experiment with what works for you then make sure you schedule this into your timetable.

Prioritise

Is there a particular task, assignment, or test you need to study for? If there is something of a higher priority then it is important to dedicate more time towards it. Schedule in more time to work on it, and plan to do it at a time of the day when you work most efficiently.

Be flexible

Life gets in the way- that is inevitable! It could be your Mum calling for that hourly check-up, or it starts raining and you urgently need to take your washing off the line (we’ve all been there). Whatever it is, accept that these interruptions are going to happen and try not to let them faze you! Just allow for flexibility in your schedule by adjusting your scheduled breaks throughout the day.

Prepare the night before

Be honest – the first hour of study can involve spending 20 minutes on your phone trying the find the right playlist, 20 minutes setting up your desk, and 20 minutes deciding what to do first. Save this wasted time by writing up your timetable the night before. That way you’ll be ready to hit the ground running the following day and be much more productive!

 

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