Stress-free studying on a busy schedule

By Zoe Taylor

If you’ve been wanting to study a particular subject but have been putting it off because you already have a lot on your plate, online learning is perfect for you. You can do it in your own time, never having to attend any on-campus classes. But even this can be hard to find time for. Working full time, looking after your family, trying to start up or run your own business, or

We’ve got some tips on adding an online course to your already busy schedule without adding stress as well.

Maximise Your Time
When you hardly have any free time, it’s important to maximise the time you do have. If you have a spare hour or so before dinner when you get home from work, that’s the perfect time to bring out your readings. Or if you work better later in the evening, you could set aside time after dinner to study.

The best thing about studying online is that you can do it literally anywhere. If you take the train, tram or bus to and/or from work, start studying there. It not only helps you stay on top of your study, it makes the trips go faster, too! Just make sure that you’re actively studying.

Create a Timetable
It also helps to map out your time in a detailed timetable so that you can see where your spare hours are, and think about how you can maximise them. Include every single thing you do on a regular basis. Work the same hours each week? Add them to your timetable. Have a regular workout regime? Add that too. Have lunch or dinner at the same time every day? Add that in as well. It’s also a good idea to include chores that are necessary once a week – grocery shopping, house cleaning, laundry, etc. are all important tasks and should be included in your timetable to ensure you have time to keep a normal, clean, healthy lifestyle.

Once you’ve added every single detail possible, add the hours where nothing is assigned as ‘free time’. From that, assign certain blocks of free time to study. Make sure you keep some hours during the week free for “me time”, though, or else you’ll start to burn yourself out.

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Create To-Do Lists
They might be daily, weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly to-do lists – whichever works best for you. Include assessments, activities, blocks of reading, everyday chores, etc. That way you can make sure you’re getting everything done that you need to for that day, week, fortnight or month.

It is also a great help to prioritise your tasks and list them in order of importance. This way you can get the vital tasks out of the way without rushing them, and focus on everything you need to do, not just the most important things or the things you remember most frequently.

Setting things out in list form on paper takes the stress out of things because you don’t have to worry about forgetting to complete important tasks. You’ll avoid becoming overwhelmed by all of your activities because you only have to think about one thing at a time.

Keep Your End Goal in Mind
Make sure everything you do ties in to your end goals. This will help you stay focused and get you closer to achieving them. The course you’re studying gives you the required qualifications for your dream job, so it’s really important that you stay focused and work hard on it.

Your current job might not be your dream one, but it supports you and gives you a regular income while you work towards your dream job, allowing you to maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle at the same time.

If you focus on these key factors, all the highly stressful, unimportant things will start to fall away and you’ll be living the dream in no time.

For help in finding the right career path for you, or for useful tips on areas including studying and finding success, call 1800 143 080 or visit www2.collegesonline.com.au/mycareer to contact one of our friendly career advisors!

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