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    It's a little embarrassing that I'm still not sure how to do this, considering I'm about to enter my final year I've found my timetable for next year, and I have a four hour contact week. While I've got good grades throughout my time at uni, I know I'm not working hard enough consistently and end up leaving things last minute - I'm sure if was able to use my time more effectively I could be doing even better. I don't want this really short timetable to mean that I'll just lapse into using the rest of the week as free time, so I'm trying to find ways to structure my time so I can get a good work-life balance.

    I'm sure this will be a struggle for all new freshers adjusting from school, and clearly even long-term students can struggle (well I hope it's not just me anyway...) so it'd be really good if we could collate some ideas on what works well.
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    I follow a pretty standard routine of 7 hours of sleep, 8 hours of work and 9 hours of "free time" per day. Sounds like a lot of free time, but those hours are eaten up pretty quickly when you consider that the gym, travelling, food breaks, part time work, volunteering, socialising etc are all included in those 9 hours. When the semester is getting busier I change this to 6-7 hours of sleep, 9-10 hours of work and anything else is free.

    I take two (almost) 2 full days per week off. I'm fortunate enough that my part time jobs are both flexible enough to allow me to choose my own hours and most of the work can be done from whichever location I choose, so I cram that into the other 5 days of the week so that I can take 2 days off of work. I say almost 2 full days because I sometimes do 2-3 hours of work on one of those days, if I feel the need to.

    Start any written assignments at least 3 weeks before the deadline, or as soon as they are released if you aren't given the assignment brief very far in advance.

    Set aside specific times each week for different types of studying. All of my lectures are on a Monday afternoon and evening, so I set aside a Tuesday between 8am-1pm to write up a good set of revision notes for each lecture. That leaves me with the rest of the week to focus on tutorial preparation, reading, coursework etc.

    Try to treat your studies like a job, but allow a little bit of flexibility. Studying, especially in final year, should be priority, but you're also there to have fun. Things come up that you don't expect and sometimes it's good to step away from your strict routine and go on that night out or go for a day trip or whatever, just don't let it become too frequent or you'll fall back on your schedule.

    Don't have the mindset of "oh, if I get x number of hours of work done today then that's good", give yourself specific task goals for the day and when you want to complete them. If I wake up and say I want to read for 5 hours today, I will put it off and off and off until the day only has 5 hours left and then I'm miserable that I have to spend my night reading. If I wake up and say "I want to read from 12-5pm," I'll do it.
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    (Original post by brendonbackflip)
    It's a little embarrassing that I'm still not sure how to do this, considering I'm about to enter my final year I've found my timetable for next year, and I have a four hour contact week. While I've got good grades throughout my time at uni, I know I'm not working hard enough consistently and end up leaving things last minute - I'm sure if was able to use my time more effectively I could be doing even better. I don't want this really short timetable to mean that I'll just lapse into using the rest of the week as free time, so I'm trying to find ways to structure my time so I can get a good work-life balance.

    I'm sure this will be a struggle for all new freshers adjusting from school, and clearly even long-term students can struggle (well I hope it's not just me anyway...) so it'd be really good if we could collate some ideas on what works well.
    Hello

    I think the silver lining about a four hour contact time is that you do have the rest of the week to use as you feel would be best.

    It's a little bias to give you what I'd consider good time management as it can work for some people and not for others and vice versa. Personally I'd suggest visiting your Student Support services at the beginning of your Third Year and talking to them and working out a timetable best for you. I used to reject this help throughout my first and second year and regretted it so much but now, just as I'm starting my third year, I visited them and they helped me plan my time that'll best support me and my skills.

    E.g. breaking my time down into manageable sectors - e.g. days for reading, note taking and gathering things together, days for planning and going over plans, and then attempting to write and go over drafts etc.

    Best of luck!
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    If it's any consolation, I'm in the exact same boat! I am about to enter my third year and I am worried about how this little contact time might equate to me procrastinating more :/ I've also had good grades for the past two years, so I know I'm good at what I do when I put my mind *and time* to it, but its having the energy, will and determination that I really struggle with. I always end up doing things at the last minute, even when I don't plan to.

    My advice is to set a goal for each day of how much work you'll get done. I study literature (and honestly I don't think I've ever managed to read a whole book before my lectures) but I tend to work better when I can see the results of my effort. Each day I'll set myself a few goals like 'read 50 pages of The Hobbit' or 'translate 20 lines of Beowulf' and then force myself to achieve that. I also work better under pressure weirdly, like if I feel like there'll be consequences if I fail, like missing a deadline or something.

    I guess at the end of the day it's what works for the individual. But my main tips are these:

    - Set achievable daily goals
    - Give yourself rewards (e.g. have some magic stars or watch an episode of anime or go out with friends - depending on how close it is to exam/essay time, you can be more/less generous.)
    - Don't overestimate, or underestimate your abilities. Just estimate them? idek
    - Eat healthily, sleep well and drink lots of water (makes me feel more productive somehow)
    - There's loads of advice out there for procrastinators like us lol. If you want, check out Danisnotonfire's procrastination videos on youtube as he's got some useful advice.

    Hope this helps!
 
 
 
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