How I schedule my reading
Scheduling reading as a humanities student can feel really overwhelming.
You are reading more than you ever have before, and often having reading from four different modules leaves you feeling like you simply don’t have enough hours in the day.
Similarly, it is really important that, as a student, you have time to reflect on what you have read.
I’m sure we have all been in the position of cramming in several different texts in a short space of time.
Although you might be able to physically get the work done (just about!), if you don’t have time to reflect on what you’ve read, have you really learnt anything?
Here are my top tips on fitting in all of your reading into a busy schedule!
Stagger your texts
I like to plan my reading based on the order of my seminars.
With learning being online, it is much easier to work around your lectures.
However, seminars, being a fixed time, can present a challenge.
I like to read my texts in order of the seminars I have the next week. For example, if I have to read Frankenstein for a seminar on Monday and Sense and Sensibility for a seminar on Wednesday, I’ll start with Frankenstein.
This gives me more time for the second text, but also helps me retain the most information.
Don’t read for the sake of your to-do list
My final seminar of the week is on Wednesday evening.
I could technically use the rest of the night to begin on next week’s reading.
However, I firmly believe this would be a waste of my time!
There is no point in reading just to get your to-do list ticked off. You need to work smarter and harder!
If I spend Wednesday evening working, I am not likely to get everything out of a text; I will already be tired.
Instead, I should use Thursday or Friday. This also gives me more time to retain information.
Skim reading and quick reading
It goes without saying that to get the most out of your degree, you need to read the texts.
However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t learn how to read quickly.
Skim reading is a tool that you can use to get through slightly longer passages of text that might not be quite as relevant.
This relies heavily on you using your judgement and self-discipline!
Read in allocated times
The most effective way to read is to give yourself an allocate time, e.g. ‘I am going to allocate Thursday 10:00-12:00 to read The Iliad’.
If you treat reading time in the same manner as seminars and lectures, you will find that you are more disciplined and productive.
I am sure we have all found ourselves in the position of saying we are getting something done, and then looking at the clock and seeing you have wasted hours!
Avoid this by blocking your time in order to preserve productivity!