Strategies for Effective Time Management as a Mature Student

Are you a mature student, juggling different commitments such as work and family? If so, then effective time management strategies are essential for ensuring you can balance everything, and achieve your goals.

Many mature students experience a sense of overwhelm, but by taking a few simple steps and setting yourself some ground rules, you’ll soon be managing your time more effectively. Here are the top five strategies to get you started:

1. Create to-do lists

The simplest way to ensure you stay on top of your tasks is to write a daily to-do list. Spend a few minutes each morning prioritising your tasks and you’ll then have a handy reference throughout the day. Factor in deadlines and include any upcoming activities, such as virtual lectures and tutorials, and don’t forget to budget time for other commitments such as home-working and family.

2. Set realistic goals

It’s all too easy to promise the world, so be realistic when it comes to setting your learning goals. If you’ve got too much on your plate, you’ll soon become over-stretched and this will impact on the quality of your efforts. Remember that learning is a long-term journey: rather than cramming for modules, spread your work out over the entire semester.

3. Find a study buddy

Finding another mature student to team up with can make the world of difference, especially if the workload starts to feel overwhelming. Having an academic accountability buddy to check in with three or four times each week can give you the motivation and drive to stay focused.

4. Schedule leisure activities

It’s easy to get so caught up in studying that you neglect your social life, but it’s important that you take time out each week to unwind and be with friends. Schedule regular activities such as board game evenings or lunch meet-ups, and your well-being will thank you!

5. Take regular breaks

Make sure to factor in regular breaks when you’re writing essays. Not only will this give your brain a respite but it will also keep you focused for longer. Take a quick five-minute breather during each hour of work, or treat yourself to a well-deserved break during the afternoon.


Time management can feel overwhelming at first, but once you’ve found strategies that work for you, it doesn’t have to be a burden. Setting yourself realistic goals, scheduling activities, and reaching out to friends are all great ways to ensure you make the most of your time as a mature student. With a few sensible strategies, you’ll soon be juggling your commitments with ease.

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