Discussions

HOW TO MANAGE SCHOOL AND READING // bookish advice: tips for juggling reading, blogging & studies with a busy schedule ft. starting a studygram

Hey hey friends

Welp, I’ve started my second year of university today. I’m excited and not excited at the same time. Love that for me. Wishing all of my other fellow and struggling students out there the best of luck.

Anyways, in honour of that, I thought I’d revamp a post I made about 2 years ago. You can click here to check that one out if you’d like, though I don’t want to scar your eyes so maybe don’t. This one is much better haha.

Now, I am aware that in the northern hemisphere, schools have already started. So I guess whoops but I’m always late so it’s not unexpected. I’ve put together a list of tips that I, myself, have used in the past to help manage my studies and reading.

Disclaimer: I’m not an expert and I definitely do not have everything figured out. I’m still not great at time management so do with that information what you will. Also, keep in mind that this advice is what I personally have found useful and it may not work for you.

Are you a student? Are you struggling to make time to read? Or is your daily life just far too busy? Then this post is for YOU!

Hope you enjoyed that infomercial lmao. I’ll never curse your eyes like that again.

My academic history

I’m a very slow reader. I can be fast if I want to be but when I’m juggling various other things, reading doesn’t always take first priority for me.

I only recently graduated high school and somehow managed to stick to a great reading schedule during that time. And though my reading was kind of a mess last year, I am a university student so I do have ~some~ tips. This post will mostly be helpful for students who are at home a lot, as keep in mind that I attended a small high school and my first year of uni has (and still is) online.

Idk maybe this post is a waste but I hope at least one person will find it useful.

students with academic reading,,,

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Managing studying & school

I’m dividing this post into different sections as I have some tips that are not only for students. Though this specific section consists of tips for STUDENTS specifically.

Also, we love to LOOK organised ahaha

Stay organised and be on top of your studies

Personally, my biggest struggle when it comes to studying, running this blog and also reading is never finding a good balance. One would always overpower the other. Which is sometimes very necessary. But I think the key to maintaining this balance is to stay on top of your schoolwork. You need to make sure you are aware of all your assignments and essays, because if you have that under control and you aren’t stressed about your studies, then finding time to read shouldn’t be too difficult.

Don’t procrastinate and put off your assignments

Hello to my biggest struggle that still curses me. So yes, I am being extremely hypocritical here but bear with me. It is a problem I am working on every day okay. Don’t judge me.

This may sound cheesy but I am a complete goody-two-shoes student and when it comes to handing in assignments on time, I get extremely anxious. I CANNOT just sit back and hand in work late. However, that does not stop me from leaving assignments to perhaps the last minute. So don’t do that. It’s always better to try and have your assignments complete before the due date. Especially when they start to pile up.

Prioritise your studies above reading

This may be obvious but it’s easy to become swept up with reading and content creation and you start to treat it like a job. Which you should but you also need to know when to stop. It isn’t your whole life and you can take a step back. I sound like a therapist but I do want to reiterate that you are allowed to take breaks. Your followers (and books) won’t mind. It’s just an account. Reading is for fun, there’s no pressure.

donald duck says DONT STRESS

Reading with a busy schedule

This next section is not a list of unique tips or anything. In fact, you’ve most likely already heard them but they’re useful for a reason. They could also be applied to all readers, not just students.

I should use them more often oops.

Carry a book with you everywhere

This is probably my most useful tip as you really don’t have to do much and it is a total lifesaver. I always have a book on me when I go out. Now, you probably will hardly get time to actually pick up your book, but you honestly never know. But if you’re waiting in the car, have time before class or while you eat lunch or literally ANYTHING, then pick up your book. You’ll be surprised how many pages you can squeeze in.

I have a couple of book sleeves to put my books into my bag and highly recommend you get one of those also!

Make use of audiobooks

Now, this one I’ve been working on as I haven’t had the best schedule for squeezing in listening time. Kinda silly to mention this after my previous tip but I find it hard to listen to ONLY 15 minutes and that’s it for the rest of the day. I tend to forget that small amount of the book haha. So the best time to listen to audiobooks is when I’m doing chores and when I’d be driving around (back on campus).

But agh AUDIOBOOKS are so so great! Some not as great as others but I’ve found some phenomenal ones. Some have even made the reading experience BETTER in my experience. We’re also not ableists in this household thank you very much.

Here’s a list of the platforms I use to listen to audiobooks:

Read before bed

I mayhaps have a rather late sleeping schedule as I’m a night owl, so I tend to fall asleep after a few pages. But you know, I at least read a few pages lmao. Squeezing in a couple of pages before you catch your beauty sleep is not going to harm anyone.

No, I’m serious. I’ve heard people say that you shouldn’t do this but I’m still alive so I think we’ll be fine. Reading before bed depends on your schedule so some read for 15 minutes, others 2 hours, it all depends. But in my experience, it calms your mind and also ensures that you don’t sit on your phone *wink wink*

idk if that’s even coffee but literally ME

Read shorter books

This one feels self-explanatory but it’s perhaps something you never realised. Now you do you, but if you’re reading murder weapons, perhaps the reason you’re never finding time to read is that it’s taking too long to finish your book. For me, reading smaller and lighter books are much easier to read during the semester and you can definitely fly through a lot faster.

Blogging with a busy schedule

I am,,, quite terrible at this part so take these two steps as Ruby’s tentative plan for 2021!!

Keep a list of ongoing ideas & drafts

You probably already have one but I thought it was worth mentioning. If you have a list of ideas (and even better: completed drafts) then having content to post will be easy-peasy. If you’re someone like me who has fallen into the bad habit of spending an entire day on content, then this is your best solution. It’s something I’ve been doing and so far so good!!

Schedule, schedule, schedule!

This tip comes along with pre-writing your posts because you obviously need to have content to schedule. But when you have some spare time, your best bet is to draft a couple of blog posts that you can either take a look at closer to when you want to post. Or if you have a larger chunk of time, schedule it right then and be done and dusted.

But oof it feels so good to schedule a blog post. I don’t get to do it often *nervous laughter*. But it shall change your blogging life, my friends!!

I started a studygram!

Before I love and leave you, I have quite the announcement! Which I’m so so excited about and I thought it was fitting to mention it here.

I have absolutely no experience with this specific Instagram community apart from browsing through super pretty accounts but I’m excited nonetheless. So yeah, I started a studygram!

I plan to keep this his account super chilled and low stress. Literally only posting when I want and when I have time. Short captions and very low maintenance, but just to just share my university life. And the hope is that it becomes motivating in a sense.

Would love for you to give me a follow, I’m over @rubyraerstudies (you love it right?!?). I’m posting my first post today and eeep I’m so chuffed with the photo. You can see a sliver of it above in my featured image <3<3

Conclusion:

And there we have it my friends. I hope you found this helpful. I don’t know if I’m any good at advice posts so please let me know what you thought!

Before I actually love and leave you, here are some other brilliant posts to check out:


ARE YOU A STUDENT? WHAT ARE YOU STUDYING? DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS ON TIME MANAGEMENT? DO YOU USE ANY OF THE ONES I MENTIONED? I’D LOVE TO KNOW!

YOUTUBE // INSTAGRAM // GOODREADS // TWITTER

PINTEREST // LETTERBOXD // KO-FI // studygram

22 Comments

  • Sumedha

    I’m super excited to see your studygram!!! And these tips are really good! I love how you mentioned points for studying, reading and blogging. Also, starting a studygram kind of makes you more motivated to study because you have to have things to show? Notes and stuff? I remember posting on my Tumblr (lol) and it made me more motivated haha.

    P. S. thanks for linking my guide! I’m glad you find it helpful 😊

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Thank you so much for stopping by Sumedha! Your post was SO helpful so couldn’t not mention them <3<3

      Glad you liked the setup because I was kind of nervous that it made no sense haha. Also right?!?! It seems contradictory but you really do need to actually study to have content to post. So the hope is that it motivates me but also that I keep it low stress!!

      Lots of love to you xoxoxo

  • Lais @ The Bookish Skies

    as someone who’s been reading and blogging consistently ever since 2021 started, i am dreading the beginning of the school year, because my routine will change again and i probably won’t have as much time to read or blog. so, yes, this post came in the MOST PERFECT TIME!

    i am also super guilty of procrastinating, but i think the biggest change in mindset has to be not stress myself over not reading so much. seriously. i just am one of those people who loves reading and also associates that to a biggest chunk of my personality, so i don’t know who i am if i’m not reading, lol.

    just the way in which you keep a bookstagram + a book blog + a book tube + studies and now a studygram?????ruby can i just be you??? I Wish. anyway, i’m so happy for you & i hope you’re having an amazing month so far! 💛

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      LAIS!!! Before I even get into the rest of your comment, I just need to say that you’re the bestest. Ilysm <3<3

      Ugh you know, I write this post but so the same! I've been fairly consistent since the beginning of the year (from when vacation started mostly) but I honestly have no idea if I can keep that up. I gues we'll see. Anyways, I have much faith in you!!!

      Yesss that mindset is so important. I try not to be that person who stresses over sometyhing that's just ,well... my hobby. But at the same time, reading is MY THING and I'm also wanting to make it a job. SO WHERE IS THE BALANCE??? lmao

      Also welp love that you bring up my youtube because I haven't touched it for like months at this point. I haven't founf the time and its def not a priority. But thank you for for the kind words. Lots of love to youuuuu xoxoxo

  • ahaana @ Windows to Worlds

    ahhh ruby!! you are GOALS omg!! first off, this post was so so helpful, i’m practically hitting schedule on my posts 15 minutes before they’re supposed to be published, and am 100% struggling to just find that balance!! also i love your studygram so much skjfhkjhsf ~ i would follow, but because of my parents i dont have an account yet!! thank you for all these tips!! ❤️

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      ma’am STOP MAKING MY DAY!!! Iysm <3<3<3

      Lmao I'm glad this was helpful. I was worried it'd be useless. Ugh I FEEL YOU. Currently only have one post left that's semi ready and I,,, don't know when I'll get time to draft.

      And omg THANK YOU!! You're too kind xoxoxox

  • Kayla @ The Book Loving Beaut

    This was such a great post! I procrastinate all the time which does not help with my busy university schedule. I have been using Notion since last year and it has changed my life. I just made a book blog section and it is so helpful! These tips are so wonderful! I need to get more audiobooks because they always help me so much!

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Omg yay I’m so glad you liked it! I was a tad nervous haha

      Ah Notion yesss!! Totally should have been a tip but I guess for another day. I am absolute horrible when it comes to planning. I’m not an unorganised person but I can just never stay truly on top of diaries etc. And I set up my Notion last year, stopped using it after a while but recently revamped it and TIS MY UNI LIFE SAVER!!!

      Also, glad I’m not the only one who loves audiobooks just doesn’t listen to them as often as I should oops.

      Thank you so much for stopping by <3<3<3

  • Caro @ bookcheshirecat

    I just started my Master’s course back in October and I have been feeling the stress of balancing things, so this post was great to read! 💕 100% agree on audiobooks! They are how I get so much reading in, especially when I feel too stressed to pick up a physical book. Making use of audiobooks while doing chores is one of my favorite life hacks 🙂

  • Marta @ of waves and pages

    Thank you so much for this post, Ruby!! This was actually a great reminder that I am, indeed, procrastinating a paper I have due Sunday (I’ll start it tomorrow, I promise!!) because everything else just gets in the way. The semester has barely started for me BUT I already have so many papers, group projects, oral evaluations and tests scheduled, plus other commitments on top of that, and then, blogging. Some things overpowering others is what happens to me most of the time, though I have been trying to balance blog work by doing a little bit every day (on Mondays I film and edit videos, on Tuesdays I blog hop, on Wednesdays I write a blog post, on Thursdays I answer comments, …). I have also been trying to go on walks sometimes, which should help me relax, but sometimes makes me feel guilty because it’s time I could have spent either studying or reading. So it’s a never ending cycle of not being on top of everything (which is frustrating, because I’m pretty good at organizing, just not at following through 😭😭). But your advice was flawless!! And I’m so excited about your studygram account, I can’t wait to see more content there 🥰🥰

  • Kay @ Hammock of Books

    Ahh ruby I truly love this post so much!! and also apparently I need this post so much because as evidenced by the fact that I just disappeared for the past three months I clearly am not succeeding at balancing blogging with schoolwork lmaoo (the only reason I’m online right now is because I literally just finished my last final of the term this morning and now I’m like… wow… what is this… free time?? dobby is a free elf!!!!). definitely not procrastinating is very important!! carrying a book with you everywhere is also a good tip I assume for people who actually leave the house (said from my bedroom the same place I’ve been for literally an entire year). also reading before bed is probably a good idea I always like to read before bed in the beginning of the term when I still have willpower but tbh haven’t read before bed in like a month at this point because all my brainpower is exhausted by the time I get in bed after a full day of studying. anyways, good luck with your new term and your new study gram which I’m sure is going to be super beautiful!!

  • Victoria S

    I’m studying English at University too! Luckily for me this semester, I am taking a course all on YA books so I actually got to read some books I’d been wanting to for class! Also, I totally agree on the “carry a book with you everywhere.” I have probably taken my books so many places and not read a page, but then there have been other times I’ve gone somewhere, had some spare time and regretted not bringing a book with me. (Actually in this case, I have found it very handy to have the Libby app on my phone and then I can check if the book I want is available and get the ebook!) While I do love physical books, I can’t deny ebooks can be really handy and way less of a pain to lug around with you. (Though book sleeves are terrific too) I just came across your blog and I love your Home page a lot btw!

  • Emme

    Loved reading this post and these are definitely such useful tips!! I used to really struggle to fit in reading with my studies and other commitments but I’ve been flying through books lately and am loving it! I totally agree that staying organised and on top of school work is the best way to do it! I find that if I really prioritise studying and focus when I’m working (rather than procrastinating and doing assignments half-heartedly) I have so much more time afterwards for reading and other hobbies.
    Great post!

Leave a Reply

Skip to content
%d bloggers like this: