Three steps to find time for study, work and life

Wondering if you can find time to study alongside work, social life, family, and other commitments? Worried you won’t keep up? That’s understandable.

77% of future students are concerned they won’t have time to keep up with their studies.* Balancing study and life is challenging – but the challenge is worth it. Study can open up new career paths, boost your current career, increase your job satisfaction and salary. Ready to begin? Set yourself up for success by following these three steps to manage your time effectively.

1. Tailor study to your life

Dr Vittoria Grossi from Deakin’s Student Academic Support Services says if you plan your time and priorities, ‘No matter what your competing demands are, it is possible to fit study in.’ The key is to tailor study to suit you.

Make your study mobile and digital

These days you can study anywhere, anytime, thanks to online study. At Deakin you can supplement your on-campus study with online study, or study entirely online. Participate in a class at home, read study materials on the way to work, or chat online with teachers and students.#

Set the pace of your education

You don’t have to choose between study or work. Take advantage of flexible study options. Switch between part-time and full-time study as your life changes. Complete your studies faster with intensive study or by taking additional units in Deakin’s Trimester 3. Or put your degree on hold if you need a break.

Try a single unit

See what studying at Deakin is like and whether it will work for you. Enrol in a single unit and then decide whether to continue to a full course. The unit can count towards a degree later.

Combine study with work

Does your work relate to your degree? Pitch study to your boss as professional development. Show how your upskilling will benefit the workplace. Ask for time off to attend uni, or a few hours a week to study during work.

2. Manage time effectively

Once you’ve found time for study, make it count. Dr Grossi says if you’re returning to study after a break it can be daunting, but take advantage of your life experience. ‘If you’re managing a lot of things – full-time job, kids, social life – that means you’re organised already.’

Get a head start on your studies

Once you enrol, Deakin provides online orientation resources with information, advice and checklists to help you prepare and understand what to expect at uni. You can even get a head start by checking out prescribed reading or resources in the Deakin Library.

Schedule time in advance

When you begin studying, get a clear understanding of the work expected for each unit and when it’s due. Schedule time for assignments, reading and exams. If you’re not clear on expectations, speak to your teachers.

Organise with planning tools

Deakin offers a number of time management planning tools that will help keep your study and personal life on track and prepare you for university study, such as Deakin’s weekly planner.

Assignments and tests due at the same time can be overwhelming, but once I pass those hurdles, I realise I’m studying to improve my ability to help others, which is motivation for me to keep working towards the finish line.

Jamie de Abreu

Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science

3. Access Deakin study support

There’s a network of support in place to help you at university. Dr Grossi notes, ‘The key thing is not to get behind, because it all builds up. If something’s not clear, speak to someone as early as possible to clarify.’

Study support

Deakin has a dedicated support team to help with every aspect of study. You can talk to someone face-to-face or online about writing assessments, researching, finding resources, planning your trimester and more. They will help you identify pressure points in your calendar and give you tips on managing the busiest times.

Peer mentors

Book a mentor meet-up and hear how a fellow student finds time to study, get their advice on study skills or fitting in to uni.You can even have a study session led by a student who has successfully completed your unit.

Online resources

Deakin’s website has tonnes of valuable resources from assignment planners to referencing guides. Have a good look through Study Support for an essential overview and helpful study advice.


*Deakin University Barriers, Drivers & University Performance Research (Global Engagement) 2017