Academic success secrets revealed
Life is a constant juggle of commitments, and if you are thinking of adding online study to the mix, there’s no better time for a refresher on productivity and prioritisation techniques. We will reveal our secrets to academic success, including reversing some of your preconceived thoughts about productivity.
Multitasking isn’t the key
Despite what many of us have come to believe, multitasking is not a technique that works in our favour. In fact there’s multiple studies out there that conclude that our brains are not designed for multitasking. Rather than increasing your cognitive load, what you really need to do is focus on what matters most, one step at a time.
You might not realise it, but you were introduced to one of the best systems for prioritising and productivity at a very young age. Remember your highschool days when you went from period to period, focusing on one subject at a time? This intentional structure to your day during highschool followed the productivity concept of time-blocking.
Time-blocking is actually a tool that enables you to schedule one task at a time into your daily calendar, promoting a single-minded focus. Whilst in simple terms, it essentially means you’re converting your to-do list into blocks of time, in reality, it’s also a tried and tested way to prevent people and other tasks from stealing attention from the tasks that you’ve deemed most important in your day.
When you apply time-blocking to your study, it means that you need to make a commitment to treating your study like a job during that block. Just like in highschool when you would never study science concepts during your maths period, the idea is to not let personal and professional commitments to encroach on your study time. Based on the experience of many other students, our student success team advises that you use the time-blocking tool to manage your calendar at least two weeks in advance of your studies commencing.
Set up a dedicated ‘work’ space
Running with the theme of treating your study like a job, we also suggest that you resist the temptation to study from your couch or your bed. A dedicated office space, where you feel inspired rather than relaxed or leisurely, ensures that your environment is more conducive to cognitively demanding work, otherwise known as deep work, according to author, Cal Newport.
Whether it’s your partner, your friends, your fellow students or your boss, it pays to have allies on your side that will help you stay accountable and uphold your study commitments. By sharing your study-time blocks with them, you’re essentially giving them permission to check in on you, and make sure that you’re staying on track with your subject. Keeping your network aware of your goals also makes them more invested in your success, and they’re more likely to support you when you’re feeling stressed.
Leverage university resources
One of the great benefits of being a University of Adelaide online student is that you’re able to access as much or as little support as required during your studies.
Your course coordinator and academic support staff are 100 per dedicated to your cohort, so take the time to learn more about them and have their contact details on hand, before classes commence.
Your student success advisor can help link you to relevant staff members. Talk to your advisor or schedule a time for them to virtually run through the different study resources available on MyUni so that you know how to use them, well in advance of needing them.