Now that the whirlwind that was 2020 has come to a close and we’ve entered the part of 2021 where every conversation includes the phrase, ‘do you have any New Year’s resolutions?’ I’ve got a question for you; do you have any academic New Year’s resolutions?
My big goal for this year is to manage my time better! Like most students, I’m so busy with assignments and other commitments that it can be a bit chaotic to try and get everything done on time. It’s not unusual for me to work well into the evening, which isn’t exactly the best study habit to have. Time management is a big source of problems for a lot of students so here’s a quick post to share how I’m going about sticking to my study resolution this year. These strategies aren’t just specific to my goals though, whatever your study goals are, hopefully these points will help you in setting and sticking to your aims.
1. Break it down
Having a big goal is great but wanting to ‘have better time management’ isn’t very specific. It’s good to have idea of what you’re going to do to reach that goal. For me, that means setting rules such as ‘no working past 10pm.’ It’s much easier to stick to a New Year’s resolution when you know exactly what you need to do, not just what you want as an end result.
2. Give yourself a time frame
A year is a long time, it can be easy to put things off or lose steam when the goal is so far away so it’s a good idea to give yourself smaller deadlines that are more manageable. I like to set quarterly goals every three months because that time frame is short enough that I’ll stick to it but long enough to get a substantial amount done. What works for you will depend on your preferences, so think it through and choose what is best for you.
3. Work with friends
If you and a friend both want to improve your timekeeping, why not get together (virtually) and make study timetables together? Keeping each other on track is a great way to stick to your plans and make it more fun. Even if your goals are different, just sharing them can help you stay motivated.
4. Don’t overwhelm yourself at the start of the year
It can be easy to get carried away with everything you want to do and end up with a mile-long list of goals for the year, but that might not be the best approach. This is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s probably best just to pick a few goals to work at steadily rather than burning yourself out within a month.
5. Come to a UniSkills session
Start the way you mean to go on by booking on to one of our brand new UniSkills webinars! The Spring programme will be available for you to book on soon and covers a wide range of subjects including academic writing, being critical, Harvard referencing, searching for academic information and much, much more. You can also book a 1-2-1 appointment for more tailored support with our knowledgeable Academic Skills Advisors
Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates about what we’re doing in the Library and Learning Services department and how we can support you throughout the year. And while you’re here, let us know in the comments what your #NewYearNewUniSkills study resolutions are!