Manage your time; don’t let it manage you!

Did the midterm sneak up on you, too?!  As a professor, I sometimes forget to pay attention to when the midterm is.  Suddenly, students are asking me about study guides, what the exam format will be, and how much material it will cover.  I think to myself, “How did I schedule a midterm but lose track of time!?!”  It happens to the best of us.

One of the tips Heidi and I talk to students about on a daily basis is effective time management skills.  Similar to time management skills listed here, we highly recommend keeping a calendar.

First, take the time to sit down and chart out your weekly routine – from 6 AM on a Sunday through 2 AM on a Saturday (7 days, 15 hours a day).  Put in when you are sleeping, commuting, eating, sitting in class, hanging with friends, working and studying.  Be sure to schedule 2 hours of study time for every 1 unit of class you are enrolled (12 units should be 24 hours of study time!).

Second, take out each of your class syllabus and make a chart of due dates:  write down what assignment (or exam) is due and on what day.

Third (and finally), take out your personal calendar (diary, phone, PDA, etc) and write in your class times and days, your study times and days, and your due dates. If you have a big paper due, then figure out what day you should START the paper and put that in your calendar (“start History 101 paper today!”). Be sure to schedule leisure time, too!

Making and keeping a calendar is a life skill, not just a college skill.  It will allow you to look forward and prepare for leisure time in the same way you do deadlines and other important dates (like graduation!).

Happy Calendaring.

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