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Time management & goal setting

Gain the knowledge to tackle the study challenge.

It’s totally normal to feel like you’re facing new challenges when you’re starting out. They could be around time management, getting used to living away from home, or combining family life with study.

We’ve talked about developing your academic skills and the kind of personal support we can offer, but what about the practicalities of time management and goal-setting?

Steps to success

Think about how to tackle your study commitments as a whole. The bigger picture is just as important as your individual assignments.

  • Set some goals.
  • Find ways to manage your time.
  • Build a good support network of people.

Taking control of your study experience gives you a much greater chance of success.

Goal setting

Did you know that people who write down their goals are 33% more successful in achieving them than people who don't?

If you have a dedicated study space, write down your goals and put them up where you can see them. If you don't have a dedicated space, find a place to stick them where you'll see them every day; the bathroom mirror, the front of the fridge, or the back of your bedroom door.

Read your goals out to yourself every day.

Be realistic

Small goals are SMART goals - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

It's important to be honest about how much time you can commitment to study and other things. Don't set goals you can't achieve, you'll set yourself up to feel you've failed.

While you want to keep your long-term goals in mind, sometimes the bigger picture can seem overwhelming, so set small and achievable goals on a subject-by-subject basis. Each small goal achieved will add to your sense of accomplishment and keep you motivated to keep going.

Types of goals

  • Short-term: tasks and projects you need to complete in the coming days / weeks.
  • Mid-term: goals you want to achieve by the end of the term.
  • Long-term: major targets you wish to reach by the end of the school year.

Time management

If you plan your time you are more likely to enjoy your studies and reduce stress. It's important to find a workable study/life balance.

Taking control of your time

  • Organise a good study environment.
  • Use the 24-hour planner to work out how much free time you have for study.
  • Plan a weekly timetable and a semester timetable.
  • Monitor your time management progress on a weekly basis and adjust your timetable if necessary.
  • Reward yourself when you achieve your targets.
  • Re-assess and adjust your plan regularly.

Create a plan

You should review your study plan regularly. Life happens and things change - relatives visit, you get sick, your work schedule changes - so be flexible when you need to be.

Step 1 - Work out how you spend your time

Fill in the 24-hour planner (DOCX, 45.93 KB) to work out how you're using your time on a typical weekday.

How much free time do you have? How much time do I need to study?

Step 2 - Design your weekly study plan

Based on your time assessment in step 1, what, if anything, do you need to change to fit in study time?

Consider things like:

  • What are your top five time-wasters?
  • What activities in your life are priorities?
  • What personal commitments do you have?
  • At what time of day do you think most clearly?
  • Do you work better for long periods or short bursts?

Now you're ready to use the weekly planner (DOCX, 46.43 KB) to write your study timetable.

It is recommended you allocate at least 10 -12 hours a week per unit you are enrolled in (this includes scheduled activities and general study time) .

Remember to include all everything such as travelling to and from work, preparing meals, taking children to school, as well as things like cleaning, shopping, participating in sport, etc.

Step 3: Plan your semester

Use the semester planner (DOCX, 47.52 KB) to plan for your assessment tasks, major assignments and exams.