Effective time management is crucial for study success.
How do you do that? Well, you could…
Break your time up into blocks. It might help to have a yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily planner/ schedule. This will help you keep on track with major deadlines but keep your day-to-day focus on manageable blocks.
Schedule specifically. Don’t just block out time for “study” – write in your schedule what you will do with that time. For example, it might be “read two chapters” or “review notes on meteorology.” This helps keep you focused and also helps you know how much time to allocate.
You’ll be able to achieve more with smaller blocks of time because you won’t have to spend time working out what to do. If it takes you longer than expected to complete the task, remember that for next time you need to do something similar.
Work out your personal prime time. Do you study better at night or in the morning? What commitments do you have outside of your flights and study that you need to schedule around?
A good idea is to create or find a weekly template. Block out times that you are otherwise engaged. This could be work or family commitments, sporting activities or other hobbies – and don’t forget to schedule time to sleep, eat, and relax!
See where you have space to fit in your study. Is it enough? Can you reschedule anything to give yourself more time to study? Or a better time to study? If you know you concentrate better at night, but all your nights are filled with other commitments, can anything be moved?
Find a routine and commit to it for at least a few weeks. If it’s not working for you, change it up.
Try different lengths of study time. Maybe spending half a day a couple of times a week works for you. Maybe you need short bursts every day. When you first start, try a few different things, and make note of how you felt and how well you took in information.
Communicate to the people in your life about your commitment to flight training and what that means. Enlist one or two key people to keep you accountable and motivated.
Learn to say no! Sometimes you will need to prioritise your study goals over a casual social engagement. Focus on the big picture in these moments and communicate your reasons. People will understand.
Self-directed learning requires discipline. Be honest with yourself about your commitment. Review your progress and how well you have stuck to your schedule.
Be prepared for life to happen. Allow yourself time to grasp trickier concepts, or to flow with distractions.
The biggest key is to find what works for you. There is no one size fits all approach.