20 hours of study per week might sound intimidating. In fact, concerns about fitting in study time are some of the biggest roadblocks for many people considering an online postgraduate degree.
It doesn’t have to be like that though! All you need is a little careful preparation. The five tips below will help you fit 20 hours of study into your regular work week.
1. Plan your day
Take 15 minutes to write a list of everything you need to achieve. Prioritise and allocate to help keep your mind focused. When you sit down at the end of the day with a completed list of tasks, you’ll have a great sense of accomplishment.
2. Use ‘dead time’
The average Australian commutes for 3 hours and 37 minutes per week. And, Sydneysiders commute for over four hours a week! If you use public transport to get around, that’s four hours you could be tackling required reading, posting your comments in forums (often this counts as 5% of your assessments) or watching the weekly video on your smartphone. Online learning allows you to study any place, any time, so make the most of that flexibility!
3. Eliminate distractions
One hour of distraction-free study is more effective than three hours of multi-tasking. This could mean turning off your phone notifications, studying before your family wakes up, or setting yourself up in the corner of your favourite coffee shop or the local library. Set aside some time in your schedule to get away from emails and notifications so you can focus.
4. Be realistic
Know your schedule and work around it. Don’t put unrealistic expectations on yourself – trying to sit down to study for 10 non-stop hours probably isn’t going to end well. It’s important to be realistic about what you can and can’t achieve in a day. Use your whole week, and don’t beat yourself up if you can only manage 30 minute blocks. It all counts!
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Reach out when things are starting to get out of hand – to your friends and family, your colleagues, and especially to your Student Success Advisor at SCU Online. Knowing when to ask for help (or an extension to submit your assignment) can save you from a larger problem later down the track.