Managing your time effectively

.... and juggling studying and being a parent

Study Time
• Drawing up a weekly study timetable can help to focus your time, but it's hard to stick to a timetable while juggling university and family life and other things you may have on like a job. Instead, try setting personal goals for each day, so you can stay focused even while grabbing fifteen minutes' study time in the doctor's waiting room.

• Staying organised is one of the best ways to save time: filing away lecture notes straight away takes a little bit longer at the time, but saves time and stress hunting for them later.

• Prioritise: Working out which tasks are most important is an obvious way to manage your time, but make sure you stick to those most important tasks!

• Try to get hold of your timetable in advance to you can work out your schedule. Universities often finalise these very late, so if you can't get it, ask for a draft version. You can do this by contacting the school administrator in the school that you are going to study in (e.g. the Law school, school of chemistry etc.


Quality Time
• Try to stick to a reliable schedule: it's much easier to spend quality time with your family when you know what you're doing when

• Student parents can feel guilty when they start leaving their child to study. Remember that you're doing it for their benefit as well as yours. Try talking to other student parents.

• If you're really struggling and want some help come to the Student Wellbeing Service. We can arrange for you to meet with a therapist to talk through and explore your difficulties. This is a free and confidential service.


Travel Time
On foot, on the bus or in a car, travel time seems like dead time, but there are a few things you can do to make the most of it.

• If you're not driving, you can brush up on old notes. It's not a great time to learn new material, but taking the chance to refresh what you've learned already can give you a head start when you start revising for exams

• Check out ‘Recap’ there may well be recordings of your lectures and you might be able to listen to these while travelling

• Travelling time can be useful for getting tasks like phone calls out of the way.

• Work out what you can do to keep travel time to a minimum. For example, there are lots of shops and hairdressers available locally, so you can pick up some milk or get a haircut between lectures.

• If you have a placement as part of your course, don't forget that it could have a big impact on your travel time and remember to factor this into your plans.


Saving Time
• When you've got spare time, you really can "save time" like you save money. Think of things you can do in advance, from preparing blank timetables to fill in each week to writing the year's birthday cards!