Go The Distance: Study Skills – Managing your time

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1. Say goodbye to time management trouble

Welcome back to Study Skills – bringing you the skills and knowledge you need for successful study and better learning. This time we take a look at a feature of academic study that can be difficult to get right: managing your time effectively.

Do you wish you could study more effectively? Of course you do – but there are so many things that demand our attention. These can really damage any chance of studying effectively. Dealing with distractions – like phone calls from your friends and family – is just one thing we need to do. Scroll down to watch the video and pick up the tips to become a master at managing your time!

2. Manage your time and study effectively

If you want to study well, you need to manage your time. How to do that? First, ask yourself three questions: what your commitments are; what your study goals are; and how you work best.

To do

Watch the video and listen for the advice about dealing with your COMMITMENTS, setting your study GOALS, and finding our HOW you work best. Write these tips down if you like, and we'll give you the details – in an infographic – later on this page.

3. Time management: Three things to think about

To do: Did you spot the three things you need to think about for good time management? Check your understanding – click the image to find the answers.

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4. Top tips for terrific time management

Do you have time for a review?

We've had a good look at time management for successful study. Before we finish, let's review what we've learned so far about using your time effectively.

  • Calculate your time commitments outside of study – things like work, childcare or travel – to help you work out how much time you have for study.
  • Set yourself clear goals – this will help you work out how long you need to study. Try to be flexible when you need to change your plans.
  • Think about when and where you work best – at home or in the library, in the morning or afternoon – so you can plan effective study sessions.
  • Try to do your most difficult tasks when your concentration is strongest – it's much more difficult to write an essay when you're feeling distracted.
  • Don't fall victim to procrastination. If distractions are a problem, take action! Turn off your phone and internet for distraction-free study time.
  • If you're finding it difficult to concentrate, study in short bursts. Working for 40 minutes at a time is a good way to get things done.
  • Reward yourself for working. When you've finished reading an academic paper, give yourself a treat – maybe some chocolate or a cup of coffee.

You've got the time!

That's all for now! You can get more tips about studying effectively by visiting our partner – just click on the OU link in the 'Where next?' section. Click the 'Downloads' button to get a free pdf transcript for the Study Skills video.