Counselling and Career Development

Plan

Before you plan specific study activities, you need to make time in your life for your studies. This entails critically analysing your current weekly schedule and checking how you will manage to fit in the various activities you are involved in. This includes your studies, work (if you are employed), family time, and other activities such as community work, church activities, sport, and hobbies.

Let’s take a look at the weekly planner below. We asked Risuna, a first-level accounting student, to make notes of how she normally spends her week. The table below is a summary of this:

  MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
07:00-08:00 Breakfast and travel to work Breakfast and travel to work Breakfast and travel to work Breakfast and travel to work Breakfast and travel to work Breakfast and travel to library Breakfast and family time
08:00-12:00 Work Work Work Work Work Study Family time
12:00-13:00 Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Shopping Lunch
13:00-16:00 Work Work Work Work Work Family time Study
16:00-17:00 Travel home Travel home Travel home Travel home Travel home Sport TV
17:00-18:00 Prepare dinner Prepare dinner Prepare dinner Prepare dinner Prepare dinner Friends TV
18:00-19:00 Family time Family time Family time Family time Family time TV TV
19:00-20:00 TV TV TV TV TV TV Read
20:00-22:00 Study Study Study Study Study Friends Friends
22:00-07:00 Sleep Sleep Sleep Sleep Sleep Sleep Sleep

If you look closely at this example, Risuna is spending 17 hours per week on her studies. Unisa recommends about 8 hours per week per module. Risuna is currently registered for 4 modules. This means that she is budgeting too little time for her studies.

Where can you identify more study time for Risuna?

Risuna decided on the following:

  1. Wake up at 5:30 and spend an hour each morning on her studies.
  2. Negotiate help with cooking dinner at least three times a week.
  3. Minimise watching television (three hours during the week and four hours over weekends).

This will give Risuna an additional 11 hours per week. She could also consider spending less time with her friends, giving her another five hours per week.

Making these adjustments will help Risuna get closer to her goal of spending at least 32 hours per week on her studies.

Activity

Track the time you spend on various activities during an average week and complete a table such as the example provided. Where can you identify more time for your studies? What support do you need to negotiate with others? What activities will you have to let go?

Remember: Successful students make a choice every day to study – will you?

Read my Studies @ Unisa

my Studies @ Unisa is your study survival kit. Use the information in this guide to help you get started with your studies. In addition, the guide provides quick links to all the support offered by Unisa, as well as information regarding important processes such as submitting assignments. Visit the page here and remember to bookmark so that you can regularly return to it.

Attend workshops

Contact the Unisa centre closest to you to enquire about possible study skills workshops that will be offered. If you cannot attend a workshop in person, download the Study planning workshop presentation.