THE SEMESTER PLAN
I used my monthly calendar to write down important dates concerning my class schedules and assignments and created a color coded system for it. I have this pinned up next to my desk where I do a large portion of my work so I can keep on task with my assignments and exams.
Red meant that it was an assignment such as an essay or a lab report.
- Green meant that it was an exam or quiz of some kind.
- Blue meant that I did not have whatever class I had written on it that day.
- Black was for other special events, schedule alterations, and for marking off the days.
In addition to this I posted a paper with all the different assignments and exams that I have with a similar - but slightly different - color coding system.
On this page I not only had the course title and the assignment dates, I also had the various ways I could contact my instructor as well.
- Green meant that it was a final exam
- Blue meant that it was a time when class was not in session.
THE WEEKLY PLAN
I used a provided weekly schedule planner to create my "ideal" weekly planner. I tried to make it as flexible as possible for times when I had an exam or a large project coming up, because plans are always subject to change.
I used a color coding method for this as well, similar to the weekly class plan that I have on my phone.
- A red outline, means that it is a period where class is in session
- A blue outline means that it is not academically oriented, but is something I have committed to.
- A black outline means that it is a meal (and possibly a free study session).
Each class is color coded as well so that specific study times are shown to be oriented to that class and other commitments that are connected to each other.
- Purple: MATH 1020
- Green: BIOL 1040/1060
- Red: ENGL 1030
- Blue: CU 1010
- Yellow: PHYS 2000
- Pink: Church
- Orange: Free Study
THE DAILY PLAN
For my daily plan, I take a sticky note and write down any assignments that I have due that day, and that I need to work on during my specified study time - or if I need to make time for it. This a bit more effective than a daily planner for me because most of my work is largely on my computer. So its not as easy to forget as a daily planner that's hidden inside my back pack. Also its gives a sense of accomplishment when you've marked everything off of your to do list and you can throw it away at the end of the day.
THREE DAY OBSERVATION RESULTS
I was for the most part able to follow the weekly plan that I had previously made for myself. However, due to some class changes it became a bit different and I had extra time that I had originally not planned for. Most of my “off schedule” activities were when I hadn’t previously scheduled anything and had free time. Also because of the extra time from not meeting for my afternoon class most of my schedule was pushed forward – meaning I got everything planned done a bit earlier. Also I did a few things for other people that were last minute, as well as working on some projects that demanded a bit extra time.
This graph depicts the percent of time I spent in each of the quadrants throughout my active day. As you can see for my first day I wasn't very proactive in my Quadrant 1, but I think that was mainly due to the fact that because I was doing a lot of work ahead of time which placed it in Quadrant 2 since it wasn't an immediate thing.
On day two I think I stayed with my daily schedule a bit better than the previous day. My class schedule didn’t have any odd hiccups so that part of my routine was fairly stable. A few of my timings were off because I got up a bit later but because of the extra time where I had nothing scheduled I was able to make up for it then. I took some long breaks – probably a bit longer than necessary – though there is a sizable chunk of time simply dedicated to walking to and from class. Nonetheless I was able to do most everything in a timely manner.
For Day 2 you can see that I had a few more immediate things that demanded my attention, so that my Quadrant 1 and 2 evened out. But I did spend a good bit of time in Quadrant 4, I feel like 18% might be a bit too much time (However, this graph doesn't really portray the percent per time, just the percent per task).
Because day 3 was a Friday, a large part of my night was spent hanging out with friends for our weekly movie night. However, I was still able to get everything on my schedule done, it was just a little bit mixed from its original plan. I also got a few miscellaneous errands done and was able to start preparing for my “5-day test prep” plan for my next exam.
Due to the fact that my Day 3 was a Friday, I believe that it caused the spike in tasks spent in Quadrant 4, as well as the decrease of tasks in Quadrant 1 and 2. I also had fewer tasks because each of them were spread out over a longer period of time so the percentage appears much more dramatic.
Quadrant 1 Productivity over 3 Day Period
This graph shows the productivity of each of the days - as depicted by how many Quadrant 1 tasks I completed each day. As you can see Day 2 I had the greatest success of completing Quadrant 1 tasks, where as Day 1 seemed to be the least productive. However, for Day 1, I feel like I accomplished more in general and had a more productive day because I was doing some things in advance.
I think for certain subjects I was able to follow the weekly plan to the letter, such as with my biology, physics, and math homework. However, in certain things like English or my CU 1010 class the assignments tend to be bit more fluid and more difficult to put a schedule to. Also it was hard for me to force myself to sit down and study my work just to review. However, having the semester plan on my calendar I think is very effective. It’s helpful to clearly see in advance when my exams and projects are coming up. Also my daily schedule helps me keep on task and make sure that I don’t forget any assignments that are due that day. So those two are something that I think I can keep in use now and in the future. Though my weekly planner didn’t really work out, that I believe is more of a mental block that I need to overcome and it’s not from a lack of planning but simply a lack of motivation to do the study work.