Part 1: Create your plan
• I plan for my semester through an online monthly calendar. I have a mac and an iphone so they sync and my calendar is at my fingertips at all times. On this calendar, I put key dates. From birthdays to meetings, days off to exam dates, this calendar allows me to prep for the month's big events well in advance.
• I keep my weekly to-do list in the notes portion of my laptop (also synced with my iphone). I keep a running list with due dates attached for a week to a week and a half of assignments. I have longer class days MWF, so I plan longer intervals for homework and study on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I keep a secondary note for regular pal times next to this note, so I can reference those meeting times for the week.
- Overall, the hourly breakdown of the *ideal* week is as follows. Note plenty of study time, plenty of break time on Saturday, and a good healthy amount of sleep.
• I keep track of my daily to-do's with sticky tabs on my computer. This list can include anything from that night’s final assignments to going to the gym. I will leave reminders for myself there if it’s a friend’s birthday or if I have a doctor’s appointment. By lunchtime this list is normally in order with hourly-breakdowns as to when things should be finished.
Part 2: Monitor implementation of your plan
My plan continues to work for me- although everyone is different! The organization makes me feel much better, and I plan to continue this technique through my years of schooling.
Part 3: Evaluate and Revise
1. My plan is pretty successful. As for due dates and getting things done ahead of schedule, that part is amazing. I followed the same concept last semester, but in a different way. Last time, I would use it to see how long I could wait to begin a project, but this semester I work backwards from that; I see how early I can get things completed. My problem, to be blatantly honest, is my cell phone. I feel like something is missing if it isn’t always out in front of me, and when it lights up I am extremely tempted to pick it up. To answer a call or text doesn’t take up much time, but as soon as I am on my phone, I am not off of it for at least 10 minutes. A simple text leads to answering a snapchat, which leads to checking Instagram notifications, which leads to scrolling through twitter, and once I am ALL caught up, I return to my work. I believe its necessary to take study breaks when working vigorously, but momentum can be totally killed when my phone is constantly buzzing.
2. To revise my plan, I would keep the physical set up the same, but put away my distractions before beginning my work. I disconnected my texts from my laptop to avoid texting from my computer, and I learned to turn my phone on “Do Not Disturb” for the hours a block out daily for studying. I also learned that to be happy I need one day off a week. I plan an extra 30 minutes to an hour of work each weekday, so that on Saturdays I can catch up on sleep and do things like grocery shop and plan for the upcoming week. It may seem counterintuitive, but for me, it actually helps. Reminding myself that I can relax on Saturday implements motivation for me to get more accomplished during the week.