It can be hard to find time to study, but you can do it when you know how. In this article, we’re going to look at some strategies that will help you make more time to study so that you can stay on top of your online course.
These are our best tips for making time to study, are you ready? let’s go.
Understand why you want to study.
The first step to making time to study is understanding why you want to study. You need a strong motivation, and that can only come from knowing what your end goals are.
Understanding why will also help set goals–and having clear goals makes everything easier!
Is it worth your time and effort? Why or why not?
If the answer is yes (and hopefully it will be), then you can start planning how much time each week/day/hour-long block will take up in relation to other things in your life.
Once you know what you want to study and why, it’s time to get started. You can start by making a list of all the things you have going on in your life right now that are taking up a lot of time and energy—and then prioritize which ones are most important.
Get your priorities in order
The first step to getting your priorities in order is to ask yourself, “What matters most to me right now?”
Once you’ve identified what’s most important, it’s time to think about where your course sits on the list of priorities. Before you can even allocate any time to studying you need to sort out your priorities. What matters most to you right now?
Only you can decide where completing your study course sits on your priority list. Before you do anything else, write a list by order of priority and see where your course sits.
If it’s not high up on your list, perhaps you need to re-evaluate.
After all, committing to upskilling and changing your life by gaining qualifications is a huge commitment in both time and money.
Figure out what motivates you, and use that motivation to your advantage.
The first step to making time to study is knowing what motivates you. Identify the factors that inspire you, and then figure out how they can be used as an incentive for studying. For example, if exercise makes you feel good about yourself and gives your mind a break from thinking about your course, then schedule time for a fitness class every night after studying.
In addition to figuring out what motivates you personally, it’s also important that the rewards offered by studying are meaningful enough so that they outweigh any distractions in your life (e.g., friends hanging out). If this isn’t possible at first–for example, because some people find taking breaks from their work more tempting than others–then try adding extra incentives until reaching an equilibrium point where the benefits outweigh distractions enough for them not interfere with getting things done.
Get out of the daily habit of wasting time.
I recently read a study that suggested that humans are only productive for a mere 2 hours 56 minutes per day at work out of an 8-hour day. The rest of the time is spent doing other things like checking social media, chatting, loo visits, making tea etc. the list goes on.
It got me thinking about how much time I waste, so I wrote a list of my full day detailing every activity and how much time I spent on it.
I discovered that I waste a lot of time doing lots of unproductive things that don’t matter, and then I spend an equal amount of time complaining I have no time to do anything else.
The chances are, you do this too. Because we all do it, but we can change it; we just have to see where we can make time.
Write a list of everything you do in a day and find where you can make time.
Do you really need to watch Netflix, or could you allocate 30 minutes to studying and then watch Netflix later?
My point is that you will have free time every day, you just need to find it and when you do you have to decide what takes priority and which matters more.
Learn how to manage your time effectively and commit.
A crucial part of successful studying is commitment. Just like going to the gym, it’s no good if you just pay the membership and never turn up.
To get the results you want, you must put in the hard work.
So do it! It’s only you and your excuses stopping you.
Commit yourself to a minimum amount of time each week. It might only be 30 minutes every day, but if you are entirely focused for that 30 minutes, it will be beneficial.
Whatever schedule suits you, commit to it
Once you get into a routine and you are regularly sticking to your schedule, you can start increasing the time by an extra 5 minutes until you get to an amount of time that suits you.
It might never increase from 30 minutes, and that’s ok.
Do what works for you, just make sure you show up and commit.
To start your schedule answer these questions.
- Are you currently working?
- What days do you usually work?
- What hours do you usually work?
- What other daily commitments do you have?
- Do you have any free time to yourself?
- Is studying at the weekend a realistic option for you?
By answering these questions, you will know exactly what free time you have available to study and from that you will be able to create your own personalised study schedule.
To get started, you can CLICK HERE and download our free daily study plan template.
Be creative with your study time
Studying doesn’t have to be done at a desk at home. All you need to study on the go is an internet connection and a suitable device such as a phone, tablet or laptop.
· If you have a job that involves a lot of waiting around, like a HGV driver, access your course in your cab whilst waiting to be unloaded.
· If you commute to work on the train, the bus or car use the audio version of your course to learn on the go.
· Study around children by getting up earlier to enjoy some quiet time to study, or make time to study after they’ve gone to bed.
· Ask your friends and family to help with childcare whilst you study, even if it’s only for half an hour.
· Use your lunch breaks at work as a chance to up-skill by logging into your course on your phone.
Make the most of ‘dead time’ like drying your hair, making dinner, dog walking, having a bath, or at the gym.
Set up a study space conducive to studying – and stick to it!
If you’re going to study, your environment must be conducive to concentration and focus. You don’t want any distractions getting in the way of your learning!
A quiet space with good lighting is ideal for studying. If possible, find a place with no noise or light from outside sources such as televisions or cell phones (and trust us–they do still exist). This will help keep you relaxed while eliminating distractions that could pull your attention away from what matters most: learning!
You may also want to consider setting up an area designated for studying at home; some prefer desks, while others prefer tables and chairs. Either way works just fine so long as it gets done right away so that when those study sessions pop up on the calendar, they won’t fall through due diligence gaps caused by the lack thereof preparation time beforehand!
Using these tips can help you find the time to study efficiently and effectively
You can only study efficiently and effectively if you have enough time to do so, and these tips will help you find that time; however, you need to remember to rest.
Relax, Rest, Take a Break and stop focusing on exams!
One thing lots of people do when they start a study course is put pressure on themselves to get the course completed quickly. In many cases, that pressure is also coming from a boss or partner, and it’s so easy to get overwhelmed and stressed and feel like you can’t do this.
Let us tell you right now, you can! but you are going to have to have a word with yourself, your boss or your partner.
Studying as an adult is not easy. Regardless of background, education, income, or academic ability, it’s hard work; it’s even harder if you are under pressure. So to stand any chance of getting through your course, you need to understand that you are not a superhero, you’re a busy human trying your best and that’s enough!
Tell your boss or partner how in-depth the course is and ask them to give you the time and freedom to complete it without pressure by making alternative arrangements for someone else to fill the role / take over the job until you complete your course. They’ll get a return on the investment of you studying once you are qualified, and you will only achieve that if you can study without pressure. If that doesn’t work, get them to call us, and we’ll talk to them for you.
Self-care is important, and it’s essential you take time out away from work and studying because if you try to study when you are tired and stressed, you won’t achieve anything.
At least once a week forget about studying completely. Take a day off from everything and relax.
A least once a day, complete 5 minutes of Headspace. Whether it’s meditation, yoga, a walk, or some fresh air in the garden, it doesn’t matter. Just take 5 whole minutes for you, alone where you can rest without interruption.
Lots of people underestimate the power of rest, but I promise you will achieve more if you allow yourself to take a break. It will change your life as well, just give it 5 minutes a day and thank us later.
If you’re looking to find more time to study, these tips are a great place to start. Remember that studying is a skill that takes practice and patience, so don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t come naturally right away! Learning how to manage your time effectively will do wonders for your studies–and it may even help you find new ways of approaching other aspects of life as well.
Remember if you are a student who needs help you can reach out to the team at NTP, we are here to help and guide you every step of the way.