If you’re graced with the dedicated time of reading week then lucky you. Free of seminars and lectures, it’s a perfect time for you to catch up on research, reading, revision, and work. Reading week is a time that should be balanced between both work and play. But with a large workload, distractions a plenty, and the fleeting passing of time, striking that balance can sometimes be difficult. So here are a few pointers to manage your time effectively during reading week.
Time management and planning is essential for staying organised, and balancing a number of tasks within a limited time frame.
You should firstly arrange your priorities. Make a full list of all the tasks you need to do. Work out how much time you should spend on each element of your course, and then prioritise them in a timetable.
Aim to work in a regular pattern, with typically three hours a day of working and any practical activities.
Creating a timetable gives you a greater chance of staying on track, but it’s important to remember that tasks can take longer than expected, and personal deadlines often overrun. So allow sufficient time for completing tasks, and maybe a little extra time for flexibility.
Being realistic also means accommodating some time for the important things like taking breaks, catching up with friends and family, and getting that seven hours of sleep. By adding these into your schedule, you will lower the risk of overworking or overplaying. Remember, it’s all about striking that balance.
Calendars, diaries, time table apps, or even a wall chart will really help you here. By listing your schedule openly and visually, you can see your full schedule ahead, and see where deadlines and tasks fall in relation to each other. It also allows you to quickly scan the whole plan, so you can review your progress continually.
Stick to it
You’ve created the timetable, now all you need to do is stick to it. And if you’ve planned it right, then that should hopefully be straightforward. But we’re all human and whether you’re spending reading week at home, or on campus, distractions can happen. So find a place and structure that works for you, away from it all. Perhaps that’s in your room, library, university or café. Or maybe you work better with friends. What works for one person might not work for you, so find what’s best for you.
We've asked Hannah our Analyst for her top tip on reading week :
'Getting work done is not about the number of hours you spend sat in front of your books – it’s the time you actually spend reading them! To ensure you’re using your time effectively, work out when you are the most productive during the day. If, like me, you work best in the morning, then prioritise work first thing, and give yourself the evening off. Balance is key!’
Hopefully you’ve taken away some tips here to make the most of your time.
So go forth, study lots, and have a happy reading week.