Plan your schedule

Natasha Ong
September 15, 2023
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4 min read

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The secret to study success!

We get it – study schedules might not sound like the most exciting thing in the world, but trust us when we say they're your secret weapon. Think of a study schedule as your personal roadmap to achieving your goals.

And it's not just us saying it...studies show that students with a time management plan score 53% higher in assessments! That's crazy!

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A study schedule has your back. It wants you to win. And most importantly it puts you in control. Let's dive in and supercharge your study game - it's time to go from casual learner to a study superhero!🦸

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Psst!! If you'd rather skip to the summary, we've made one at the bottom for you. πŸ’™

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Mastering the Art of Weekly Study SchedulesπŸ™‡

Step 1: Choose a Calendar

Use a planner that suits you best. There are both physical and digital calendars, and the choice is yours. Here is a quick breakdown of different types of planners that you can use:

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Physical Planners

  1. Wall calendars
  2. Diaries
  3. Weekly planners. You can also print off online weekly planners, or design one of your own on Canva!

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Digital Planners

  1. Google Calendar
  2. Apple Calendar
  3. Outlook Calendar
  4. Yahoo Calendar

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Let's look at fellow NextWork student, Nathan! He uses Apple Calendar, but you can pick any tool that tickles your fancy. You'll see how Nathan plans his schedule as he goes through this step by step guide.

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Step 2. Begin with Your Fixed Commitments πŸ“Œ

Let's lay down the foundation by adding your commitments that stay the same week to week.

If you're working, mark down your regular work times. For those studying, think about your compulsory lectures or labs.

Nathan works full time, so the first thing he puts down are his work hours (9am-5pm, Monday to Friday).

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3. Include Personal Commitments 🀸

Next up, add any personal commitments you have.

This could be dedicated family time on Friday nights, walking the dog, or gym sessions every second morning. It's okay if these might change from week to week. What matters is that you allocate time for them. ⏰

Personal commitments also include birthdays, reunions, and doctor's appointments. Put them down as soon as possible, so you can adjust your schedule.

Nathan's personal commitments include dropping his kids off at school in the morning, violin lessons and prepping his meals for the week.

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4. Make Room for Rest

Don't forget to pencil in some precious free time. πŸ’™

Ideally, there's one full day, or two half days off for a breather. It's also a good idea to have consistent rest periods every day e.g. an hour or two before bedtime.

When Nathan makes dinner for the family after work, he takes the rest of the day off for rest. He also reminds himself that Sundays are for sleeping in πŸ’€:

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5. Break Down Your Study Goals

Now, let's tackle the core of your schedule: study time. πŸ•°οΈ

However many hours you strive to do each week, you need to divide your course workload wisely - consider your study habits:

  1. Are you a marathon studier, Β or do you do better with shorter bursts? βŒ›οΈ
  2. Is there a specific time of day when you're most alert and focused?

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Tip: Don’t push your hard tasks for the hour before bed!

Plan to learn new content when you have the highest energy levels, and stick with revision when you're more likely to be low in energy.

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If you're not too sure what your study habits are, in general it's best to study in short bursts with scheduled breaks in-between. Research done on study habits revealed that studying for 30-45 minutes at a time, then taking 15-minute breaks in-between improves students':

βœ… Concentration i.e. they're less distracted,

βœ… Energy levels,

βœ… Mood, and

βœ… Efficiency i.e. they complete the same tasks in shorter amounts of time.

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Take inspiration from Nathan. He's breaking up his 5-hour workload into 45-minute study blocks. If he's learning for many hours in one go, it gets a little tricky absorbing all this new content.

Also notice how Nathan skips studying on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, but makes up for it by doing a bit more on the weekend. NextWork courses are designed to accommodate your schedule. Adjust your study blocks to fit your life. πŸ”„

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Your weekly schedule doesn't have to be jam packed. It should include time for the essential things in life - sleep, meals, commuting, and those delightful moments of randomness. Balance is the key to success! 🀸

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⏳ In Summary... βŒ›οΈ

To create a study schedule, start with an empty weekly planner and put these things down in order:

  1. Sleep
  2. Things that don’t change week to week - work or classes
  3. Important one-off things you can't reschedule - birthdays, anniversaries, doctors’ appointments. 🦷
  4. Personal commitments - going to the gym, picking up kids from school, walking the dog, family time, extracurricular classes
  5. Rest time - one full day a week, or two half days a week
  6. Your weekly course load, split up in a way that works for you. Consider how long you can focus for at a time, and when you are more productive during the day
  7. Remember to leave space for study breaks, meals, errands, and commutes. Life happens! ⏳

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NextWork courses are designed to accommodate your schedule. You decide when and where is best for you. Be honest with yourself! We're here to help you create the perfect study plan just for you.

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Go forth and conquer, study superhero!

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