Are you struggling to manage your time between work and studies? Too tired to study after your shift, when you have a deadline coming up? You’re not alone.
With such a busy academic life and a long ‘to-do list’, staying productive and managing your time well can be a difficult task. Juggling work, studies, exercise housework and grocery shopping can feel like… well, Mission Impossible.
Somehow, we just need to find the time to fit everything in - and it can seem like a daunting task.
Planning a schedule is a great way to make sure everything is being taken care of. Write down what you need to do, the time you plan to start, and the deadline. Tools such as Google Calendar and Todolist are really helpful.
Having a set plan can help you remember, organise and reflect on all of your tasks.
The Pomodoro technique is an effective technique for focused work with planned breaks in between, which helped me through University. It was invented by Francesco Cirillo in 2007. “Pomodoro” means tomato - named after the tomato-shaped timer he used as a university student.
Why not give it a try?
If you are studying and working at the same time, it may feel like you have little to no free time at all!
However, it’s important that you use the (little) free time that you do have constructively… rather than mindless scrolling on social media (looking at you, TikTok). This will help you balance your day job and your coursework more effectively.
Of course, in this day and age, staying off digital distractions is easier said than done, it’s something that I struggle with myself too. But start small, like reading some of your class material on your commute to work, or use a few minutes of your lunch (or break time) to study.
Class notes are essential. In spite of this, many students don’t know how to take notes properly.
Avoid jotting down every single word, as you will struggle to keep up and might even miss out on important details. Abbreviate certain words and phrases, so you can keep up with your lecturer.
If you use an iPhone (iOS 15), you can use the camera to scan a screen and save the content as text! This will save you writing it yourself down.
You could also print out the presentation beforehand, and simply add any extra details that aren’t on the slides throughout the lecture!
Take advantage of the technology available today and try some study apps. There are plenty of programs available that help students with every aspect of studying.
One example would be the app ‘Forest’ - it restricts you from using other applications on your phone during your “focus” time… if you pair it with the Pomodoro technique, you’ll be unstoppable! You even get to watch a cute little tree grow as you study. They work with Trees For The Future to plant real-life trees too - so bonus points for being an eco-friendly study tool!