Welcome to college life where you are responsible for scheduling your study, work and project deadlines. There is not going to be anyone around to hold you accountable for getting your work done.
College semesters are fast and furious, and the time will seem like it is flying by. Having a visual calendar and using it, daily, will help you in focusing your time so you can balance study with social activities. Here are some steps to help you schedule your time and tips to keep you on your schedule.
Before You Begin:
- Allow about one hour of focused, uninterrupted time to do this scheduling. Investing in this time early in the semester, will save you time over the semester.
- Gather all your syllabi and highlight ALL due dates for ALL projects, exams, and papers.[Tip: if you encounter any questions ask your professor to clarify as soon as possible. Be proactive whenever you have questions.]
- Get whatever calendar you use out and in front of you. Paper calendar, PDA, or the calendar on your computer, just choose the method you will be using.
- Remember color will give a visual boost when you apply your due dates. You might want to give each of your classes a separate color code.
- Class-by-class, enter each and every due date on your calendar. Be sure you get every quiz, exam, paper, project, and final no matter how small the assignment, get it onto your calendar. [Tip: If you are entering dates on a paper calendar, use a pencil first. This will allow you to more easily change your dates].
- From each due date, work backwards how ever much time you determine it will take you to complete each project, review for every quiz or study for each exam. Then enter those dates onto your calendar.
- Go back and ALWAYS add in a minimum of 10-20% more time than you think it will take to get your work done and re-schedule your time. Adding this extra time will help when ‘life’ gets in the way and it always does.
- Every morning, consult your calendar: Knowing where you are, what needs to be done, and what is coming next will help keep you on schedule AND help ease stress, because you know what is happening.
- Re-Work Your Schedule: Be ready for something new to pop up. Professors add projects, you get behind or whatever happens, be prepared to makes adjustments and make them on your calendar.
- Consider following a daily study plan: Schedule some days to study for certain class and other days to work on long-term projects. You need to be consulting your calendar/schedule, so you can tweak your system to work for you.