One of the biggest advantages of studying online is the ability to design a learning schedule that works for you. Tailoring your study plan to fit comfortably around your prior commitments is a great way to reduce your stress levels and maximise your results.
TAFE is a big commitment that requires a lot of hard work and dedication, but it should not mean that you are unable to meet your other personal needs and responsibilities. Social, family, work and health commitments are important, and allowing enough time for them will improve your mental and physical wellbeing during your studies.
So how can you make sure that your work, study and personal life are in balance? Start by using the Swinburne Online Study Planner and thinking about these 3 steps for designing a schedule that works for you and your lifestyle.
1. Identify your existing commitments
First, look at your current weekly schedule and identify which of your commitments are fixed, and which are more flexible. For example, your work schedule may be from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, but perhaps some of your childcare responsibilities could be delegated to a family member during the working week, freeing up some evenings.
It is up to you to decide which things are essential and which are more flexible. Once you have determined these priorities, you are ready to calculate the time you have available to allocate to your studies.
2. Find time for study
Now that you have identified your reoccurring weekly commitments, you can determine how much free time you can put aside for study.
Use the study planner to schedule your weekly activities and nominate 4, 2-hour blocks of study time. Try to spread your blocks of time over the week to give you a good work/life/study balance. For example – Monday and Thursday nights, 8 to 10pm and Saturday/Sunday, 11am to 1pm.
You may find that the most convenient time for you to study is in the morning before work, during a lunch break or in the evenings. Whatever time you choose, make sure that you allow yourself some free time each week to either socialise or unwind by yourself.
3. Stick to your study plan
Your study plan has now been tailored to suit your lifestyle, and you are ready to smash those study goals. Do your best to utilise the study time that you have identified in your study plan. You may find it helpful to discuss your study goals with people close to you so that they can help keep you on track.
If at any stage you find that you are struggling with time management, motivation, procrastination or course planning, visit the Support page in your Student Portal to access a range of helpful services, or our blog for our favourite study tips and student stories.