A recent OU activity asks me to comment on how I’m managing to cope with the workload of Open University distance study.
“How are you finding time to study H800 with all the other demands on your time? Is something else having to make way?”
Well, I’m working full time and I don’t want to take up my family’s time studying at weekends if it can be helped (I’m sure that’s true of many other distance students too).
So, what is making way in my life for study time? … mostly sleep, exercise, and leisure!
Tips for living life as a study-zombie:
I try to make use of all available time – so I have podcast/audio materials to listen to while travelling to and from work (the walking part of the journey). While I’m on the bus I will read course work or articles and annotate in the margins to type-up later. My handwriting is like a spider crawl at the best of times – add the effects of potholes and speed-bumps and only I stand any chance of deciphering it!
When I get to a computer I’ll update my notes into OneNote – see my previous blog on that tool. I often stay up to do this after everyone else has gone to bed – only stopping when I start to write gibberish (that really happened once).
Then get up at 5:30 to start again the next day. Look at the bags under your eyes … I must get a couple of early nights in. Look at the sad story of the weighing-scale … I must get back to the Gym. Say to yourself: ‘only another 18 months’.
I feel that the more effort that I put into my notes during the study weeks the less weekend time I’ll need to spend on assignments, or the less holiday days I’ll need to book from work to complete assignments.
It might be the same amount of study-hours and effort, or even more to do things this way, but I think it more evenly distributes the stress … actually, in terms of health, I don’t know whether that’s better or worse.