daily planner with markers

Time Management for Studying

School is important to you. You’ve got goals to reach and you know what you need to get done to get there, but you also have other responsibilities, like work, family, and keeping up with your daily life. Balancing everything you need to do can be stressful, but there are ways to make it easier. We’ve developed tools designed to help you build study time into your life.

Start using a calendar

You could have a great memory, but when life gets overwhelming, your to-do list goes right out of your head. Relying on your memory alone might cause you to forget important things. Being busy might make you put aside your studies because you have so much to do and can’t see a way to fit them in.

Using a calendar to keep track of your busy life ensures that you have everything planned out so you don’t miss a thing! Using a paper calendar or planner to write down what you need to do each day, including precious study time, can be a good way to make sure you’re staying on track.

If you’re not into physical calendars and rely more on your phone, using a calendar in your email or on your device to schedule your days can help too! Even better, on a phone or tablet you can set alerts for priorities you need to get done.

Use the time you have available

You signed up for an online education because you can’t dedicate a full-time schedule to school and that’s okay. Since Penn Foster is self-paced and flexible, you can use whatever time you do have available to study and take exams. Learn how to make smaller time-blocks really count.

If you only have an hour available, use some (or all of it) to read a study guide, textbook chapter, or study your notes. Those small blocks of time will add up.

Set priorities

Prioritize things that need to be done sooner. How much time is required to get that done? Finish the most important tasks first and then go back to complete those that aren’t as high priority. Resist the urge to procrastinate on the stuff that really matters.

Another tip? Do the work you don’t like first and save the tasks you love for last. That way, you have something to look forward to help you get through the subject or work you don’t really like.

Know your attention span

Some people can sit and study without thinking of anything else for hours. They’re super focused and nothing can distract them. Others need to do a few different tasks at once or take several breaks to stay on track. What is your attention span like?

Becoming aware of how much time you can actually spend concentrating on your studies can help you plan how much time you need to get things done. Remember, it’s not how long you spend studying that matters; it’s also about what you do with that time. If you’re not focused, you’re not really absorbing any new information.

Know when you’re at your peak

If you’re a night person, you know that your brain doesn’t start moving fast until about noon or the third cup of coffee. If you’re a morning person, you roll out of bed, beat the sunrise, and are cheerfully ready to start the day. Whichever style you relate to, use the time when you’re most awake to study.

As a “night” person, studying in the evening when your brain is awake and ready to go will help you focus and remember more of what you’re reading. The same goes for morning people: If you’re more awake at 7AM and crash in the evening, using your morning hours to study is your best bet.

Take advantage of Penn Foster’s goal-setting and progress-tracking tools

You’re enrolled in an online, flexible program because you’ve got a lot going on in your life. Being able to study when you have time is necessary to make your schedule work. But sometimes things get a little too busy and you might be tempted to completely put your studies aside. Don’t. Instead, take advantage of Penn Foster’s helpful tips to keep on track. Create a customized study plan so you can finish you program when you want to, sync your study times to your calendars on mobile devices, track your progress, and set alerts for when your next exam is due. Stick to you study plan, and you’ll be on your way to reaching your graduation goal.