Balancing the competing demands of law and life can be incredibly difficult, especially around exam time. Time management will mean something different for everyone, but here are a few different strategies to help you fit everything in and still have time for sleeping and a social life...
Although it pays to remain flexible, having a basic routine is helpful to the majority of people. Before you start creating your study routine, think about when are you the most productive and when you are likely to be distracted or less focused. Are you an early-bird or a night owl? Do you suffer from the 3pm slump? Does your irritating housemate come home at 7pm every night wanting a deep and meaningful conversation with you? Knowing this will help you manage your time more effectively as you can take breaks or do some reading when you’re less likely to be productive, and you can tackle that pesky admin law research essay during your best hours.
Then, work out how much structure you need to be a happy, productive student and how you prefer to organise your time. If you prefer your study time to be more structured, there are generally two approaches. Most people either organise the day by tasks or to-do lists without time limits or in blocks (anywhere from 1-5 hours with breaks) according to the subject. Some students even break study tasks up into 15-minute units and change activities every quarter hour to help them stay focused.
Structuring time can be difficult at if you’re a sporadic master procrastinator, but even if it’s initially as simple as devoting two days a week to each subject, this can help you become more focused and complete more work. If you’re the sort of person who is most motivated under pressure and is often seen sprinting towards uni to hand in work one minute before the deadline, set your own deadlines a couple of days before the work is due. You’ll still harness your ability to work under pressure but you’ll have a bit more leeway in case something goes seriously wrong, and over time you’ll find it easier to complete work before the deadline.
There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to time management as everyone works differently. The most important thing is to know how you work best (or how you would like to work) and to manage your time accordingly. If you need help, most universities run time management workshops or you can talk to a lecturer if you’re struggling with the workload.
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