Planning a Successful Semester 60 Seconds to success

The biggest hurdle that faces people, whether at school or at work, is

getting organized and planning things properly.

Most of us put assignment due dates on our calendar but we don't look at the due date until the day before it's due!

This is a real problem.

It's time to plan your academic calendar like one would plan and manage a large project. Here's how...

On a calendar, write down all of the social events and “off” time, like long weekends, that you know at the time.

On the same calendar, write down all of the DUE DATES for the assignments, exams/tests/quizzes, etc. in ALL of your classes. This allows you to see if you have times during the semester when a lot of things are due at once.

Choose one of your assignments.

Read the entire assignment out loud.

Brainstorm ideas.

Write down all the things you’ll need to do in that assignment, all the components.

For example, “find someone to interview,” “create interview questions”, “conduct interview, write up interview”, “do additional research”, etc. It could also just be as easy as “study for a quiz”.

Be sure to include time to REVISE your work. In other words, don’t plan to write the paper the night before you turn it in. Be sure you give yourself a day to reread it and make changes or to have someone else read it and make suggestions.

You’re not doing the assignment, just breaking it down into its parts.

Next to each part, write down how long (in hours or minutes) you think it might take to do this task. Ensure you have enough time to complete a high-quality piece of work.

Use the chart below to calculate how long you should spend on an assignment. For every 5% the assignment is worth, you should plan to work 2 hours.

  • 5% = 2 hours
  • 10% = 4 hours
  • 15% = 6 hours
  • 20% = 8 hours
  • 25% = 10 hours
  • 30% = 12 hours
  • 35% = 14 hours
  • 40% = 16 hours

This is just a guideline, not a rule.

On the calendar, and starting from the DUE DATE, add all of the tasks or parts, allotting the CORRECT AMOUNT of time you indicated above. You can knock each task out on one day or you can spread the work out over several days.

REPEAT for each of the assignments or due items.

Be sure to include readings or other smaller homework.

This is going to give you an overview of your entire semester and all the work.

Look at the calendar to find areas where there is too much work.

Can you move some of these task up to begin the work earlier in the semester? If so do this.

Remember, what you’re trying to create is a manageable schedule.

If you can’t figure it out or it seems like too much work in a small amount of time, make an appointment with the folks in the Center for Student Learning. They can sit down with you and help you figure it all out. You don’t have to be a productivity expert. They’re here to help you.

Remember to leave time for fun. Don’t book every second to work on school. You have to leave downtime in the calendar. Time to have fun, be outside, goof off, etc.


Created with images by geralt - "kanban work work process" • TheDigitalArtist - "project management planning business" • Basti93 - "time calendar saturday" • marijana1 - "august calendar planner" • aitoff - "stormtrooper star wars lego"