I’m notorious in my friendship group for being the ‘organised one’. My hard drive has an abundance of spreadsheets and pie charts, and my diary is always full of ‘To do” lists. Organisation and time-planning are skills that many employers look for, however I find that many people my age greatly lack these. I must admit, I think I’m the most organised person I’ve ever come across (not even kidding), so I thought I would help some of you who have no idea where to start, how to create an effective study timetable for over the holidays.
- Know Yourself. Do you study best in the morning or evening? Do you need to study in a library or do you just need a desk in a quiet room? Do you study best with people or alone? These things are key when creating your study plan, since you want the time you spend studying to be the most productive and efficient. There’s no point revising at 2am in the morning if you know you’re not going to take anything in. For me, I study best in the morning from around 9am-1pm, so in my timetable I have a block carved out for hardcore study (e.g. things I find difficult) and then a few hours in the afternoon from around 2-4pm where I go over things I understand. That means I have my evenings free to hang out with friends or, even better, sleep.
- Be Firm. If you say you’re going to get up at 9am to revise Economics, do it. Don’t use the excuse “I have all day, I’ll just do it later.” Because “later”, more often that not, never comes around, and you’ll find yourself having missed out on hours of revision.
- Be Realistic. If you know that there’s no way on Earth you’d get up at 7am on a Saturday morning, do yourself a favour and don’t write it in your plan. As mentioned in 1), you know yourself better than anyone, so if you know you can’t get up early, don’t put early starts on your timetable. Likewise, if you know that you’re not going to do any work on Christmas Day, don’t say you will. Because that will leave you with catching up to do, and remember, “later” never comes around.
- Be Detailed. Instead of writing “Calculus”, write “How to Find Limits”. Or if there’s a certain question/problem sheet you need to do, write it down specifically. This essentially means you’re giving yourself a goal for those few hours spent studying that specific topic. If you come out of those 2 hours understanding how to find a limit, your goal has been met. If not, well, you’ll need to go over it again. I find that breaking every module down into topics and having a checklist really helps me see what I understand and what I don’t. I usually print these checklists off and stick them up on my wall, so that every time I complete something, I can visually see it, and it makes me feel more accomplished.
- Have a Kit-Kat. It’s the holidays, you’re entitled to some down time. If you’re really dedicated to revising every day, at least decrease it to an hour or two on Christmas morning before everyone wakes up. Perhaps after you accomplish a goal, give yourself a treat like ‘watch an episode of How To Get Away With Murder’ (which by the way is REALLY good, but that’s another story for a different post).
Hopefully these tips will help you be more effective in your revision! I’m in the process on planning my Christmas timetable now, so if you would like to see it when its done, comment below and I’ll add it to this post.
Enjoy the holidays!