How to Manage a Heavy Workload at University

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The workload at university may come as a shock, as it tends to be much heavier than the homework you were assigned during high school. Moreover, it’s up to you to organize your time to make sure you start working on assignments long before deadlines and prepare sufficiently for exams. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to neglect schoolwork until the last minute — and then you’ll need to rush to finish everything on time.

On top of your classes, you may also need to fit extracurriculars, a part-time job, and other commitments into your schedule. All this may feel overwhelming, but it’s definitely possible to cope with a heavy workload. You just need the right strategy.

1. Create a Study Schedule

Decide in advance when you’ll study and write it into your schedule. Use all the time available to you, such as by spending the few minutes you have between classes to get some reading done. Be as detailed as possible in your schedule about what you’ll do in each session. This will ensure you won’t end up completing the most enjoyable tasks first but will work on what’s most important. As a result, you should easily meet your deadlines.

2. Remove Distractions When Studying

To fully utilize the time you allocate to studying, avoid multitasking and make sure you don’t use up your time on distractions. Turn off the notifications on your phone and draw your attention back to your studies if you notice that your attention starts to wander. If you’re able to stay completely focused on your studies, you’ll find you achieve much more — even when your time is limited.

3. Avoid Reading Everything in Detail

If you have a large amount of reading to do, consider what matters most. You may be able to skim some passages, and it may not always be necessary to understand every little detail. Highlight key points and take notes just of the material you’ll need to know later. Make your notes in bullet form or brief phrases rather than full sentences.

4. Ask for Time Off Work

While it may be necessary for you to have a steady income while at university, it’s crucial that your job doesn’t take away too much time from studying. When you have a major assignment coming up or you need to prepare for a big test, see if you can take time off work. If your job is on campus, your employer should be understanding — provided you don’t ask for time off too often.

5. Cut Down on Your Classes

If you try all the above but you’re still unable to keep up with your heavy workload, the solution may be to take fewer classes. If it’s no longer feasible to drop a class this semester, learn from your experience and sign up for fewer classes next time.

It’s also important to avoid wasting time on your commute and to have somewhere you can study in peace. You can find rooms for rent near the University of Alberta at 1Ten on Whyte. The apartments are just a 10-minute walk from campus and you’ll be able to study in your own private bachelor suite or bedroom. You’ll also have access to our onsite study rooms, which are a great place to go if you need a change of scenery to improve your focus. Book an in-person or video tour today.

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