Taking up studies is not always an easy decision, especially if you have to balance work, family and your schoolwork. If you’re worried about how you will manage to find enough time, the solution can be to improve your time management. It might not be something that comes naturally, but many students of University of Liverpool Online find out that they get better at it during their studies.
Have you decided that you want to start studying but feel like you have too much on your plate already? You should consider that waiting for a period of your life when you’ll be less busy might mean that you never start. Life moves fast and tomorrow always brings new challenges. Choosing to study online with the University of Liverpool can be advantageous for you as it eliminates the need to commute to campus every day. As an MSc in Management graduate, consultant plastic surgeon Dr Punam Bijlani said, “I could still continue to be a mother and a surgeon and I don’t think that a campus degree would have given me that.”
You have to get in the water if you want to swim and time management is no different. No one learns to manage their time when they have enough time for everything. It might not always come naturally but the less time you feel you have, the better you can learn to manage it. By the end of your studies, you might just find yourself able to do a lot more in limited time.
Laura Vanderkam explains in her TED Talk how to stretch time to accommodate what we choose to put into it.
You might even find that balancing a few aspects of your life turns out to be to your advantage. While studying on the Liverpool Online MBA programme and working at the same time, Peter Scanlon found out that he was able to apply what he learned immediately to the management challenges he had as a consultant. “I developed a business plan, brought a team together and completed an acquisition – all based on the module on entrepreneurship that was part of my programme”, he said.
First things first, get your priorities straight. One way of doing this is to use the Eisenhower method: determine which tasks are urgent, which are important and which are both. When you tackle them in the right order, you can meet your deadlines with greater ease and get important tasks done while eliminating the unnecessary ones.
Many people tend to procrastinate without deadlines, so it is important to write down any task you have and make a to-do list with deadlines. You can also put them in your calendar and set up reminders. As Gary Watson said while he was studying online with the University of Liverpool for a master’s degree in psychology, “Balancing family, work and study takes considerable discipline. Luckily, the programme is structured. It’s interactive and challenging but deadline-driven. I need deadlines in my life otherwise nothing gets done.” This TED-Ed video can help a lot with creating to-do lists.
“Study at the time of day when you have most energy” is Student of the Year Alan Boyd’s top tip for anyone wanting to follow his example and earn a University of Liverpool MSc in Operations and Supply Chain Management through online study. Some people can concentrate better at night and some during the day, so determine your most productive times and make good use of them to handle important tasks.
You can also use your “downtime” for studying – for example when commuting. Gary Watson said, “Another aspect of the online method is the ability to study while on the move. I travel a lot for business, so airports and airplanes are ideal study opportunities.”
When you study online with the University of Liverpool, you can always ask for help whenever you feel like you need good advice. Our Centre for Student Success is there to help with a broad range of issues students may have during their studies. Solutions architect and MSc in Information System Management graduate Samer Akkoub said, “It’s certainly not easy, and there were many points when I felt that I was under pressure, but the Student Support Advisor gave me great advice on how to manage my time more carefully, and that really helped me to balance my time between family, work and study.”
For more detailed information on time management, check out our webinar on fitting study into your life.