We’ve all heard the statement ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’. When it comes to study, planning your days, weeks and months is vital to helping you increase productivity and achieve your goals.
According to Swinburne Online's Learning Experience Manager Kathy Thomas, there are three steps you should follow each week if want to have the best chance of success.
Step one: Write down your goal
It sounds simple but many people find it hard to articulate what they are working towards. What are you trying to achieve? And why?
At the beginning of each week take five minutes to look at your priorities and write down a goal. Taking the time to think about this will turbocharge your productivity for the week ahead.
So grab a post-it, write down your goal, and stick it on your desk or computer. Every time you sit down to study you’ll be reminded of what you’re working towards.
Step two: Make space in your schedule
Before you began studying you probably had busy weeks – filled with work, family and social commitments. When you take on study some of those commitments will need to stop or change to make space for blocks of study.
Look at your calendar and highlight the things you can say ‘no’ to or things you can delegate to someone else. Explain to your friends and family that your study is important to you, which is why you won’t be available as you once were.
Step three: Look at your goal and work backwards
Now you have some space in your schedule, it’s time to fill it. Look at your goal and write down what tasks you will need to complete to achieve it.
Let’s say your goal is to finish a short answer assessment by Friday. To finish you will need to complete two readings, do some research online, make a page of notes, answer the questions and submit.
Look at your week and allocate each task to the blocks of time available. That way you can see what you need to achieve to get there. You may notice you don’t have enough time to get all of your tasks complete which means you may need to go back to step two.