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How does one create an effective schedule?

I am having trouble prioritizing my school and work. I often find myself priotizing my campus job over my studies due the peer pressure to get certain tasks done.

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Greg O'Shea

Be realistic about what you are going to do during a week. If you're participating in sports, put those hours on your schedule. If you're going to hit a party on Friday night, block off Saturday morning for recovery. Put in your social stuff and be honest with yourself about how much time you'll want to be doing fun stuff, and how much work it takes to do the other stuff. If you are taking a college course that requires meeting in class three hours a week, you should have at least a half hour prep prior to the class to read over last meeting notes, and then how every many hours after to do the work to keep up with the class. I had a friend who was an english major, which required reading 3-5 books simultaneously. He would start the term off by looking at his class meeting schedule and counting the pages in his books and then creating a schedule that showed him he had to read to page 185 of Pride Prejudice by Week 2, and so on, and then update his calendar with all of that to stay on top of it.

Actual physical calendars are very helpful!

Answered 2 years ago

Greg O'Shea
0

Ryan Gilbert

Time management is a huge part of making your school schedule workout to the results that you want. It's a great thing to learn while you are in school and have a lot of different aspects to take into account. Knowing how to setup an effective schedule will provide peace of mind and additional hours that would normally be lost.

Here are 6 questions to ask yourself when thinking trying to get a schedule put together:

1. How am I spending my time now?
Answering this question leads to perspective. Record time in manageable chunks (such as half hours) to simplify the model a little. Once you have a full scope of how time is being spent, assign each activity to one of three categories: Required, Highly Suggested, and Cut-able. This will give you some sense of priority. Do this for a week!


2. What does my routine day look like?
Use that newly made priority list to idealizing your day. Simplifying each day to a basic routine cuts out the amount of choices that you have to make. One example is write down you wake-up routine. Repeat it each day at the same time and you will notice you feel less tired in the morning. Your body starts to get used to waking up at that time. Also, the same motions allow you to keep moving. This is because you have to question "what next?" less often. Idealizing your day does the same thing. Knowing that you want to go to the library after lunch helps you cut out some buffer time for deciding that for yourself that day.


3. What can I start saying no to?
Start telling people "no." I want you to be a well-rounded student that is able to find the slime balance between the social life, good grades, and sleep. Sometimes in order to tip the scale in one direction or another you need to be able to say "no" when it puts a strain on your schedule. Having an ideal schedule helps you realize when you're doing too much and cuts out the extra commitments. Classes are mandatory.


4. How can I study faster?
Find out how you learn best. I am a visual and example learner, so my remembering tricks included a lot of pictures and example problems. Are you remember topics better by hearing, seeing, writing, drawing, practicing, etc. There are also multiple articles of more effective study techniques that can really help out. Here is a cool site and article to start you on your search:
Pomodoro Timer: https://tomato-timer.com/
http://lifehacker.com/productivity-101-a-primer-to-the-pomodoro-technique-1598992730


5. How can I be more efficient with my work time?
Of course, I mean school work unless you own your own business (I highly suggest doing so in college). Eliminate distractions from the work space. That means phone on silent, airplane mode, turned off, and off your work space! Don't use it as a calculator either. TV, music, and podcasts can also cause distractions. Studying in the right groups can help a lot when it comes to engagement and interest in the subject. Try inviting people right after class to quickly review the notes over lunch or during some down time the same day. This will help with retention of the information gained in the class!


6. How many hours a week should I work?
As a working student, you have a special challenge. You have to eat while you study hard, so working is a must for most students. Some people skate by with taking out additional loans, but I would encourage you to take a different path. Try getting a budget together to manage your resources and live below your means while you train yourself to expand them. This might mean getting a slightly worse car, moving to a cheaper place or with someone else, selling off some items, or saying no to the movies every so often. If you are able to keep yourself alive while you go through school, feel free to cut back on your hours as much as needed to fit your schedule. Maybe shift your work to a more reasonable schedule like weekends or holidays. Potentially work extra over breaks or in between semesters. If all else fails, talk with your supervisor or the person assigning hours. The school should be more than willing to work with you during high stress times.

My budgeting tool: https://www.everydollar.com/


Lastly, don't let people bully their priorities onto your schedule. If you don't need to do something, you should always have the option of saying "no" or "maybe some other time." Have the best interest of yourself at heart when making those decisions.

I hope any of this helps! Reach out if you have any additional assistance! What a fantastic question!

Answered 2 years ago

Ryan Gilbert