Organize your academic and social life to finish homework and projects, have time to work, spend time with family, and have time for your friends.
A semester calendar helps to form the “Big Picture.” This calendar will have many of the important dates you will need for effective planning (e.g., holidays, drop/add dates, midterms and final exams, etc.)
Setting up your semester calendar
- Transfer due dates from each syllabus (e.g., exams, quizzes, projects, and papers)
- Add social, family, and work commitments (e.g., family events, holidays, sports, and trips)
- Post this in an area where you can view it regularly (e.g., desk, workspace, refrigerator)
- Color code or highlight by events or course.
- Use symbols to designate type of event.
- Take the next step and create a weekly calendar.
Drafting a weekly calendar will help you get a better perspective on your time availability. This process will help you begin to evaluate and balance your academic, social, work, and personal activities.
- New Weekly planner page (Daily schedule, to-do list, notes, and more! Monday start only. View an example of a completed planner page.)
- Weekly Schedule Page (Daily schedule only.)
Setting up your weekly calendar
- Block out fixed commitments: Classes, work, meals, weekly organizational meetings, etc.
- Add time for the Study Cycle and Focused Study Sessions: Schedule FSSs throughout the day. These are 30 to 60-minute blocks for concentrated study on a particular topic with a specific goal.
- Schedule recreational breaks: Strive for balance in your life; take a walk, have a snack, call a friend.
- Adjust as needed: Use the habit tracker to keep track of your progress.
- Manage your energy: Use your daylight hours wisely. This is typically the most productive time for learning.
To Do Lists
Manage your tasks by creating a to-do list.
Using a To Do List
- Divide and chunk: Divide larger tasks/projects into manageable goals (chunks), listing them, and checking them off as you complete. For example: If you have three chapters to read, think of each chapter as a separate goal, dividing the chapters into sections.
- Prioritize: Rank items in order of importance by numbering, or code with “A”, “B” etc., If you need to group activities together, then number, “1, 2, 3, etc.” Consider what needs to be accomplished today, and what can perhaps be moved forward.
- Create a plan. Evaluate your current day’s schedule. During available times, do your high priority items first, next important, and if time, things you’d like to do that are not essential.
- Check it off: Update your to-do list at the end of the day. This gives you a sense of accomplishment for the day's activities and prepares you for a quick start the next day.
Learn about motivation.