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Managing your time

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Managing your time

Planning your semester

It is not uncommon to have several assignments due at the same time, and it is easy to run out of time without careful planning. All assignments due dates are listed in your unit guides, so you can make at least a draft version of this activity at the end of week 1.

It will help you plan ahead realistically so that you don't miss any deadlines.

1. Write the name or code of each unit in the spaces across the top of the planner.

2. For each unit, fill in the due dates of all tests and assignments in the appropriate week.

3. For each assignment or test:
a. Break down the preparation into a series of steps.
b. Consider how much time will be needed for each step and record your time estimates next to the tasks.
c. Working backwards from the due date, distribute the tasks in logical order through the weeks available.

4. Calculate the average number of hours you need to allocate each week to prepare for assignments and tests:

a. Add up the total number of hours needed in the first 6 weeks of semester.
b. Divide the sum by the number of weeks.

For example:

6 + 16 + 16 = 38 hours needed for assignments and test

38 hours / 6 weeks = 6 hours and 20 min per week

Planning your week

This weekly schedule should be used flexibly; every week will be different. However, this example will give you an idea of what your 'average' week should look like. If you can't fit everything in, you may need to consider reducing your extra-curricular activities during semester.

1. Enter all your classes, recording the unit code or name and class type.

2. Enter any other commitments with set hours, e.g. club meetings, team sports practice, work.

3. Block in at least 30 minutes preparation time for each class, recording the unit code or name and class type. Some units will need longer. Classes should be reviewed on the same day as much as possible.

4. Allocate time to work on assignments or to study for tests. Consider your preferences: short bursts or long stretches?

5. Block in your travel time (to and from uni, sports practice, work, etc.) and meal times. Allow time for cooking and cleaning up if necessary. Give yourself a lunch break even on busy days.

6. Block in time for regular chores: shopping, washing, cleaning, ect. Be realistic: they take time.

7. Now add time to relax at the end of the day and socialise with family and friends.

8. Finally, make sure you have some free 'catch-up' hours to allow for the unexpected.