I've just started my first level 3 module with the OU, and am doing it alongside a level 2 module, both are ones that involve a lot of reading and I'm finding it really hard to find time and stay motivated. I managed fine on my previous modules whilst doubling up but they involved far less reading. Having done all the normal mum things I need to do each day and put the kids to bed all i want to do is sit and relax for a while.
How do other people balance it all and keep motivated?
I think you just have to be disciplined about it. You need to put particular times aside for it each week and make sure you do the work then. Make appointments with yourself, as if you were going out to a class or something. And make the use of any spare time, like at the side of the pool while the children are in swimming lessons. I'm sure you already know that it's easier if you can keep on top of it.
I think you also need to recognise that there are times when you will struggle with motivation, and you just have to get through that - but remember that it does pass, and you get more enthused again. Sometimes it's just because one TMA suits you more than another, you find it more interesting.
I know someone at work who gets up at 5am and does an hour's study, then an hour's exercise, and then the rest of the day is for family and work. I can understand wanting to get it out of the way, so it's not hanging over me, but I think I'd have to adjust the timings!
But sometimes it's just a hard slog, and you have to put your head down and get through it.
Well done on getting to module 3. I have just finished my first year with the OU and must admit to being a bit slap dash with regard to studying but did well enough in my final EMA. Next year I will definitely have to get a grip and do more focused regular studying I think otherwise I will find myself getting left behind. I tend to find everything to do other than studying and starting my TMAs.
Thanks EBearhug, getting it out the way in the mornings sounds a great idea but getting up at 6.30 to get the kids to school is already far too early for me, I'm going to experiment this week with doing the studying when i get back from the school run, before i do any of the other stuff i have to do.
Milly, that sounds exactly like my approach to TMA's, I even end up doing stuff I hate like cleaning the oven!
My top tips for doing 2 alongside each other is to not try and have your head in both modules on the same day, it gets too confusing. Write down all of your TMA deadlines in chronological order of deadlines. This is the order in which you should work. If there are any overlaps ie both due the same day decide now which one you'll prioritise (I will always priortise 3 over 2 as it matters more for classification. Additionally priortise one that cannot be substituted over one that can incase of any life crises!)
If there are clashes the email your tutor now to ask for a small extension, max a week to give yourself a little breathing space. They are usually very accommodating I find if you explain the reason.
I do the same priortisation for tutorials that occur on the same day (inevitable)
Have one day and one night a week when you do not do any OU work. Do something you like doing and look forward to it.