Managing time is probably the most challenging thing in college. There are some students who can easily remember exactly what assignment they have in which class. I am not one of those people. In fact, I'm one of those people who writes it down in a planner and forgets to look at the planner.
I've been to a few time management seminars that my college has put on for all students. They also repeat what I've already learned in high school, and so I don't find them very useful. If anything, now I tune them out because I know exactly what they're going to say. Study cycle - preview, read, go to class, study, test yourself, review, or something similar to that. "Use a planner," they say! "It'll help!" they say! Well, it doesn't help if you don't look back at that darn thing.
The seminar leaders also suggest that students plan out exactly what they're going to do each week. This idea completely blows my mind. I don't want to be stuck going through the same exact week every week, knowing exactly what's going to happen. It's kinda boring. On the other hand, I think they're right when they say you have to plan out when you're going to study. So, using that idea, I came up with this!
|My weekly schedule...which is kinda blank right now.|
Why's it all shiny? I'm glad you asked! I hate being stuck in the same schedule every week, right? To get out of that, I created a malleable schedule. My work time, classes, and meetings are set in stone, but all the white blanks are changeable. Maybe I want to study Spanish at 5pm on Monday but want to change it the next week so I'm eating dinner at 5pm on Monday. Consider it done! What I've done with my schedule is tape a piece of a ziploc bag over it. I cut up a gallon sized bag and used a clear side to tape over my schedule. This way I can write on the ziploc bag with dry erase markers and create a new schedule anytime I feel like it. All I have to do is erase the old marker and write in the new plan. Doing this lets me have wiggle room, but it also saves me paper since I don't have to print out a new schedule every week.
When making your schedule, it's important to write down every single permanent meeting time so that you don't accidently schedule something else during that time. It's not fun to do that...
After creating a changeable weekly schedule, I narrowed it down to class assignments. I've owned a dry erase board for a few years because they're few helpful when you're studying math or chemistry problems. However, this time I've converted it into a detailed deadline schedule. Each day has its own color, and so I know what's due on that day in which class. If you want you can use one color per class, but I prefer one color per day, so I can go on a day-by-day basis. That way just makes me feel like I'm accomplished more when I've completed everything written in one color.
|Heeeeeey, colored schedule. Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Wa-whoop! Day-by-day style.|
So, now I have schedules in three places: my planner, my changeable weekly schedule, and my dry-erase board. Will I still miss an assignment or obligation? Pff, yeah, I probably will if I don't keep up with the scheduling on a daily basis and don't actually look at it. For this reason, I keep my schedules right beside my studying area so that I know what's expected of me. I think it's better to keep them out in the open instead hidden away between two covers in the darkness of your bag.
So, do you have any organizational tips that you'd like to share?