Taking a Master’s or Doctorate degree can be a little intimidating at first, especially since, in many cases, it is necessary to develop the habit of studying on your own. Precisely for this reason, it is necessary to know how to create a study schedule and organize yourself to be approved and get your diploma!
As with work, college students must commit to a study schedule and can reserve specific days and shifts for that. Creating a routine helps to have more discipline and organization, and allows you to measure your progress more clearly.
With that in mind, we have put together some useful tips here to help set up that schedule and make the most of everything that distance learning courses have to offer! Check out!
Know your routine
The profile of students in Master and Doctorate programs at a Foreign Institution in the EAD format is slightly different from those who take courses in Brazil at Public Universities. Usually, they are more busy people – often with children – who already work and do not have much free time.
It is because of this more busy routine that these people choose to do Masters and Doctorates at a distance, dreaming of obtaining their diploma or specialization and leveraging their careers.
The problem is that, in order to succeed in your studies, you need to know your own routine and know how to reconcile your duties with the University. After all, if you do not have more than 2 hours available in your day, it is not possible to dedicate 3 hours to studies. You need to be realistic and adapt your schedule to the routine, not the other way around!
Being aware of your free time – considering daily activities, such as lunch, commuting and resting moments – is the first step in knowing how to create an efficient study schedule and achieve good results.
Take a moment to study
Organization is the key to success. If you are juggling your professional and family commitments, pay attention! This can be a sign that something needs to be restructured in your routine. There may be time available for everything – work, study, family, friends, leisure – as long as you know how to organize yourself.
In any case, you must be aware that investing in a Master’s or Doctorate is synonymous with commitment! Therefore, you must determine a specific part of each day for your studies. Once you are aware of your routine, it becomes much easier to establish what those moments will be.
EAD gives you the flexibility to study when it’s most convenient, so take this chance! No matter what days and times of the week you are most productive, the important thing when establishing a routine is to make sure that it will work for you.
Don’t forget that with the ease of being able to access your materials and classes over the internet, you can study even while away from home. For example, take advantage of the daily commute when you return from work to do a quick review of content.
Evaluate your performance
There is no way to create a quality study schedule if you do not devise a method to assess your progress. It is necessary, from time to time, to do exercises and reviews to find out if your studies are yielding good results. Then, it is interesting to divide the subjects according to their performance in each one.
To do this, you can use different colored bookmarks in each story. For example, red for “bad”, yellow for “regular”, blue for “good” and green for “very good”.
The point here is not to be overly hard on yourself, or to fall into excess self-confidence. This is just a way of measuring your knowledge, facilitating the moments of review. So, if a story is marked in red, it means that this is an area that needs improvement.
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is essential both at the University and in your career. This is the starting point for becoming an outstanding professional in the job market.
Prioritize your needs
Once you know your strengths and weaknesses, it becomes much easier to take advantage of this to guide your studies to meet your needs.
First of all, we must make it clear that your study routine should vary between different disciplines. The ideal is to dedicate a certain day of the week for each subject, so that none is late. Over time, however, you will need to devote yourself more diligently to the subjects in which you have the most difficulty.
Everyone is easier in one subject than another. This is very common. The important thing is to reinforce what is most difficult and use the easiest just to make a small review.
The division of studies based on weaknesses and strengths is essential so that all the contents transmitted in the course are absorbed without leaving anything behind. You can’t get discouraged
r just because you find a particular subject difficult. It takes persistence and dedication to the maximum to overcome these weaknesses.
Take short breaks while reading
If you have 2 hours to study a day, there is no need to sit all that time, trying to read as much as possible. If you do this, the chances of overloading your brain are great, reaching the point of not absorbing anything after 1 hour of study.
To prevent this from happening, use methods that alternate reading moments with breaks to rest, drink water, go to the bathroom and relax a little.
The pomodoro technique – named in honor of the culinary timer in the shape of tomatoes – is one of the best known. It consists of dividing tasks into time flows, alternating them with short moments of rest.
In studies, this technique can be used to take breaks of a few minutes every hour of study, for example, allowing your brain to have a little peace. Although it does not seem extraordinary, this method is proven to be effective in improving performance in any type of task.
Organize your study space
If you want to know how to create a study schedule that shows good results, it is essential that the environment you choose to study is clean and organized.
Generally, EAD students usually study in different places: at work, on the bus, in the dining room, in the bedroom, among others. The ideal, however, is to determine a fixed location to be your “study corner”.
Forget the idea of studying in front of the television or in the middle of a mess of clothes, food packaging and books. All of these are elements capable of removing your concentration and, consequently, reducing your income.
Your study space should always be clean and with the materials at your fingertips. Otherwise, you will waste time having to organize it each time you sit down to study.
Valuing comfort is also important, after all, you will not want to have back or eye pain after a few hours sitting in front of books or the computer. For this, invest in a comfortable chair and a lamp capable of brightening the environment.
If it is not possible to set up your own space, you can always go to the nearest library, or to a little busy cafe. In the end, everyone ends up finding the place where they feel most comfortable. The important thing is to have a good income.
Currently, there are several online tools that help to prepare your study schedule. One of them is Google Calendar, which basically functions as a virtual calendar.
In addition to being very useful for establishing your daily tasks, you can also separate which subjects should be studied each day and set goals to be achieved throughout your studies, writing them down in this calendar.
An example of how to create a study schedule based on goals is the following: separate the subjects from the University into topics and establish how much time you will dedicate to that subject per day. Then write down the specific date when each topic should be completed and strive to meet that goal.
This is an excellent way to measure your progress and maintain discipline. If you need to get to a certain point in the story by a specific date, your efforts will be much greater to achieve that goal.
Create rewards for fulfilled goals
The sense of accomplishment must be well rewarded so that you can see that your efforts are paying off. So reward yourself every time a goal is reached.
For example, if you are able to finish the topic of a story even before the deadline stipulated in your calendar, allow yourself to rest in the coming days as a way of rewarding your effort.
Take the opportunity to go out at night, watch a movie or simply sleep later. The ideal is that you give yourself time off, after all, reaching a goal means being up to date with your studies. With that, you will be conditioned to study more and more without even realizing it.
Know your learning profile
There are different study methods and each one adapts to a different profile. When you realize that, as much as you try, your studies are not yielding good results, perhaps the problem is not in you, but in the methods you are using.
If you still don’t know what your profile is, this is the time to discover and use it to your advantage! Some examples are:
visual – which better absorb knowledge by mentally viewing the image of a book page, for example;
auditory – whose learning is more refined when they hear the material or repeat it to themselves;
synaesthetics – who learn best when they can see theory applied to practice and like to study walking from side to side.
By discovering which profile is best suited to you, it is possible to adopt a method of
study that will be much more effective than the others. This is a way to optimize learning and finally achieve good results.
For visual profiles, for example, creating mind maps can be an excellent way to fix the studied content. Synesthetics, on the other hand, are able to learn better when solving exercises and passing the theory to the specific case. Finally, hearing aids find it easier to memorize the materials when talking to other people, exposing in words everything that has been learned.
Nothing prevents you from switching between different study methods or styles, too. In fact, this is very good for making learning more dynamic and fun. Diversification is a way of maintaining motivation.
Know when to rest
A good schedule of studies for distance education should take into account the time to rest. Consuming all the hours of your day with studies, classes and work is not a good idea. The brain also needs moments of fun and relaxation.
To avoid mental fatigue, set aside a few hours a week to practice physical activity or go to the gym. In addition to good health, these exercises also increase brain activity and help to store more information in our memory.
Sleep is also very important for health and to preserve long-term memory. If you are consuming hours of sleep to be able to study, stop right now! Even if you manage to extend your studies, the information will not be well absorbed, because a tired mind does not work very well.
It is during sleep that our brain assimilates all the knowledge acquired. If you do not appreciate a good night’s rest, you will end up disturbing this process and, consequently, you will not be able to memorize what has been studied.
Knowing how to create a study schedule is essential for doing well at the University. If you dream of getting your Master’s or Doctorate degree, you need to get organized and have discipline to keep your studies up to date!