Get your study planner. Win at student life.

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8 Sep 2016

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Get your study planner. Win at student life.

8 Sep 2016

The life of a student can be a tricky business. Juggling classes, schoolwork, assignments and group dynamics, extracurricular play time, jobs and work placement, relationships with significant other, family and friends. I’m tired just writing that!

But study can also be a time of brilliant creativity and productivity and with a few organization tips and building a support network – student life can be the time of your life!


Your time is valuable. You must acknowledge and respect this point. There are many more demands placed on you as a student as you focus on deadlines and deliverables.

As a student of creative media, your projects can be all consuming – as you explore your potential in the studios, on location or working in groups.

Study tips for SAE Institute students

Iconic film maker Akira Kurosawa once said that "When you go mountain climbing, the first thing you're told is to not look at the peak but to keep your eyes on the ground as you climb…If you keep looking at the top, you'll get frustrated."

Scheduling your time can help you from getting frustrated, because you can break down your week and this can help you from feeling overwhelmed.


Plan your week and activities
The Trimesters at SAE Institute work on 13-week cycles.

If you schedule in class time, your work time and other weekly commitments you will start to see a pattern.

Planning your studies

You can then work in assessments due.  Note the group work assessments and the activities required. Be sure to allocate time for recreation or rest.

Do you have a part-time job? Schedule work around your class timetable and try to reduce your hours if you can when assessment is due.

There are government resources, that have budget planners and saving tips. Click here for more.

Use the SAE Student resources below to access important dates:
Campus online - to plan you schedule
Academic Calendar - to plug in dates for the Trimester

Utilise technology

myHomework App for study planning

Get in your smartphones calendar and save your dates, sync it to your computer, share events with others.

Tip: Connect with your group members early on – follow them on social, add to your contacts - emails and mobile numbers.

Consider using an Apps for organizing or planning homework. Check out the myHomework App - compatible with multiple platforms.

You can use the free version or it cost under $5 (USD) a year. ** If you get more than one person to sign up, you will receive a discount.


Utilise your network

Call on your peers, friends and family for moral support. Talk through your problem or ask for help prioritising commitments. Sometimes just verbalizing a problem can help to find solutions.

Build relationships to support student experience

Prioritise play
Be sure to schedule in past times you know you benefit from.

Plan time for what you fancy, be it exercise, meditation, family time, cinema screenings, concerts, and time with friends, gaming, or sleeping.

"Lack of sleep impairs a person's ability to focus and learn efficiently." (WebMD)

The trick is to find balance. Enjoy time off but be sure to understand that play time must come back to study commitments. And anyway… you are a creative media student – aren't the 'studies' you do what many would consider 'play' time.


The first three hours of your day
Ron Friedman, psychologist and author of The Best Place to Work – The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace, the first three hours of your day are most precious for maximized productivity.

"Typically, we have a window of about three hours where we're really, really focused. We’re able to have some strong contributions in terms of planning, in terms of thinking, in terms of speaking well,"
Friedman told Harvard Business Review.

Ron suggests strategising what and how you will achieve your day's objectives in the first three hours, to maximize your productivity.

Most productive in first three hours

Another brilliant takeaway Ron mentioned is to "schedule a creative task for the time in your day when you know you're a little bit tired (as this) can actually be beneficial."

Treat yo'self
Did you set yourself a goal and achieve it? Why don't you set yourself a milestone and when you get there – treat yo'self!

This does not have to be a monetary item; maybe its time off to go for a drive, take your bicycle and discover a different part of the city, watch that movie you have been meaning to.

It can be a major motivator and keep you on track to staying positive and focused!

Listen your way to productivity
We all recognize the enjoyment and creative sparks that occur when music is listened to.

If you are trying to perform complex tasks or perform activities such as reading or writing – instrumental or music without lyrics may be your best friend.

Also playing music that evokes positive emotions as this may lead to greater levels of productivity.

Have fun
Above all else, you must remember to enjoy yourself. You are learning and working with equipment and on projects some people only dream about.

You have every potential in front of you. Just remember to plan, participate and play.

Still need assistance?

Get in touch with your department coordinator or Student Services at your campus.
They are here to help and understand that successfully completing a qualification is much more than passing exams and submitting assignments.

Best of luck with your studies!