How To Effectively Manage University Workload | Tips From A Graduate

If you’ve found yourself stuck in a rut whilst in university, please know you’re not alone. After spending 4 years completely my Marketing degree, I found it crazy difficult to balance everything that was being thrown at me. Long gone are the days when we all thought uni would be a breeze. Partying all the time, skipping lectures and even going in majorly hungover from the night before…when in reality, it’s more like; library slots 9am-5pm, go home, eat, then carry on with some more work.

Managing workload is super important to ensure you make the most of your degree and get the best grade you deserve. Where possible, making small changes can help you out big time, and I’m going to give you some of my best tips from what I experienced.

Interested in changing the way you work? Keep on reading to discover what you can do to manage workload! You won’t regret it…

How To Manage Workload During University Incoming…

1. Assess Yourself

Firstly, why don’t you begin with looking at how you work on a day-to-day basis and start there? It’s all well and good me listing off how you should go about managing your workload, but what works for me might not work for you (and that’s okay!).

  • Do you feel like you work best first thing in the morning, or prefer having late nights and working then?
  • When it comes to working, do you like to do it in blocks or in one time frame?
  • Do you struggle with procrastination or are you on the ball?
  • Can you retain information quickly, or do you need to revise over and over again to understand?

Getting to know yourself inside out is the most crucial step , as it will allow you to identify your weaknesses and how you can improve.

2. Invest In A Diary/Online Planner

weekly management of workload for university success

This is a simple, but effective technique in workload management.

By investing in a diary or online planner, you can begin to organise your days, weeks and months in order to successfully submit your university deadline.

I didn’t have much disposable income to splash whilst I was at university, so I made use of what I could online. There’s a wide range of online downloadable timetables and diaries for you to get your hands on.

3. Begin By Focusing On Priorities

When I was at uni, we were set a bunch of tasks in different Lectures and Seminars which I attended. Sometimes these would overlap, or even all come at once, which was a COMPLETE nightmare.

We knew exactly what we had to do from our university online platform and were given all the resources beforehand to make our lives easier. From this, I would map out each task and focus on which were my top priority (need to get it done asap tasks) and least priority (can leave for a bit whilst I focus on other bits and bobs, but will need to be done in X amount of time).

Visually being able to see the deadlines I have, with their dates, on a physical calendar, made it so much clearer in my mind.

I suggest for you to do exactly the same thing! Go through these steps below to help focus on your priorities…

  • Workout every single thing you have coming up and note their deadlines
  • Put them in chronological order, or pop them into a calendar
  • Highlight which ones are high priority, or the ones with the most importance

4. Set Targets For Each Week

Seeing tasks for what they are can be super daunting and believe me, I know just how quickly stress levels can rise.

Instead of just having the deadline in black and white, break up your assignments into sub-tasks and give them dates to be completed by. This might make your uni workload look more full, but in fact, each task to complete will actually be much clearer and simpler in your mind, making it easier to tick off!

Working week by week is one of the best methods to keep focused on the task at hand. You don’t want to start worrying about what’s to come in a months time, your planner will have that all mapped out for you.

Unfortunately, unlike Molly Mae, the majority of the 24 hours in our day are going to be spent planned to the max to complete our uni work and stringing our student loan out until the end of the year.

5. Create A Daily To Do List

ticking off a to do list gives so much satisfaction

Repeat after me –

‘To do lists are my best friend, my one and only’

Ahhhh the satisfaction of dragging out my fluffy pink pen from my desk and ticking off a task I had to do for the day? Legendary.

In all seriousness, time management and to do lists go hand in hand. You focus on one task, complete it, tick it off and work onto the next. And once you’ve completed your list, the rest of the day is yours to do as you please!

6. Get Out Of Your Student Room To Do Work

I cannot recommend this enough if you live in student accommodation or home whilst at uni – GET OUT AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN. Unless you have special study areas within your student accommodation, then make the most of them!

My routine focused on waking up at 8am, heading to the library at 9am and doing a block of 3 hours till 12pm. I’d head home, grab some lunch and then pop to the students union or even back to the library to complete more work. Finally finish around 5pm and head back home for some of my favourite delicacies – oven cooked smileys, potato waffles and beans…Bobs your uncle!

That was my uni life for literally ages, and getting out the house helped massively in terms of procrastination. Bear in mind, this was during COVID so things were a little different back then.

All’s I can say is that times were tough when I was cooped up in my room trying to write my dissertation. There was so much distraction around me and I felt like I couldn’t get out of the rut of working.

Keep your work and free time in separate environments, you’ll fine it so much easier to focus and knuckle down.

7. Create A Study Group

working in a study group to better manage workload

If you’re seeking motivation, pluck up the courage to create a study session with people on your course. They’re all in the same boat as you and will be able to help in areas you might be struggling.

Study groups are great as everyone has different strengths, so imagine combining them? A power team for sure.

8. Put Time Aside For Fun Activities

There’s nothing more important than focusing on yourself whilst at university. Your mental health comes before anything and it’s crucial you recognise this.

Block in time for having fun, and try not to cancel every time if you’re feeling overwhelmed. At the end of the day, balance is everything and making memories with friends will be what you remember when you recall your uni years.

9. Seek Support If You’re Really Struggling

seeking support to help with the stress of university work

Most courses are like a full time job and you’re expected a lot from universities, with very little help. If you need it however, make sure to reach out and get it where you can. People are employed within your uni to help with times like this, and you’re the one paying so make the most of it.

Whether you head to your tutor personally, or try speaking to someone in your students union, you should never have to feel like you’re alone.

That’s a wrap! I hope you’ve learnt some brilliant tips to take through with you during university. Just remember, as tough as university courses are, the workload should never take over your life. Seek help if you need it, but from my advice, your routine is a huge factor in managing workload, so you know what to do.

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