Managing your study time

A watch and a calendar

Finding time to study

While you are studying on your course there will be many competing demands made on your time, so it is important that you know how to manage your time effectively.

In these activities you will consider your own use of time in general, and practise planning how to use your study time in the most effective way.

Activity 1: How do you use your time?

In this activity you are going to consider what kind of person you are in order to decide how you study best.



Think about your own use of time and write a sentence in the text area provided, describing the kind of person you are in terms of using your time. Then read the statements and decide which ones apply to you, selecting the tick symbol Tick for those that do and the cross symbol Cross for those that do not. When you have finished, read the feedback. Open the help section first if you would like some further guidance.

 I'm a late night person.
 I'm an early morning person.
 I'm a multi-tasker; I like doing lots of things at the same time.
 I'm methodical and record all my commitments in my diary.
 I try to do too many things and never manage everything I plan for.
 I set aside particular times for certain activities (e.g. shopping on Saturday mornings).
 I do things when I can; some days I get more done than others.
 I usually feel that there is not enough time in the day; lots of unexpected things crop up.
 I do my work on the living room table with the T.V. on.
 I've noticed that I become more efficient if I have less time.

Activity 2: What other demands on your time are there?

When you organise your time for independent study and course work, there may be a conflict with the time you give to other things in your life. It is important to know how you use your time and to be able to identify what other demands on your time there are. These are the first steps towards planning how to manage your own time most efficiently.



Think about your daily life and identify the kinds of commitments that might compete with study time. Make some notes about these in the text area provided. Then read the feedback.

Activity 3: Planning a week's activities

To study effectively you will need to set aside specific periods of time for independent study as well as attending timetabled classes and lectures. You will need to decide when you are going to study independently and how you will balance this with commitments such as weekly shopping trips. Some compromises may be necessary but it is also not a good idea to study all of the time, as you will tend to work less effectively if you never take time to relax.



Complete the weekly time-planning chart below with your own activities for one week, taking into consideration your study tasks and any other commitments. Open the help section first if you would like to review what to include. Then read the feedback.


Here is a simple chart to help you plan your week:
Weekly planning chart (doc, 28KB). You may wish to print this document.

© eLanguages, Modern Languages and Linguistics, University of Southampton, 2014. All rights reserved.