Contact the Academic Resource Center at 860-439-5294 or firstname.lastname@example.org to meet with a staff member who can help you with managing your assignments. Remember you are in control of your time. Procrastination can be your nemesis.
1. Create a Semester Plan which provides an overview of the semester course work. List the following on this calendar:
- All significant papers, presentations, quizzes/exams – by referring to your course syllabus and/or Moodle course website – dates may need to be updated if changed by professor.
- What and when is the final assignment in each class – a paper, presentation, scheduled final exam, self-scheduled final exam?
- Club or athletic meeting times, including travel
- Employment schedule
- Any family events that you are planning to attend
- Pay attention to the events already on the semester calendar template. There are important dates included (i.e. – add period, limited add period, voluntary withdrawal, pre-registration, self- scheduled final exam period)
This will allow you to see when there are multiple assignments due at the same time which will illustrate the need for you to plan to work ahead to meet deadlines.
2. Create a Weekly Plan. List the following on the calendar:
- The hours of the day which are fixed (i.e. class times; regular appointments or meeting times; athletics, including practices, games, travel; clubs, employment)
- Meal times, sleeping times (8-9 hrs., no less than 7 per night), exercising
- Family or social times
- Include study/preparation time that is needed for each class and enter it on the calendar (A good rule of thumb is 3 hours outside of class for every 1 hour spent in class.)
- Add all assignment due dates
Keep in mind the following when entering time on your weekly calendar:
- Try to plan a balanced schedule
- Know when you are at your best time of day to study
- Use odd hours of the day – 1-2 hour free periods between classes or activities can be taken advantage of, rather than wasted. Plan to use this time for review, class preparation, study – this will allow extra time later in the day.
- Plan study times as soon after class as possible. Reviewing lecture notes while the information is still fresh in your memory can add to retention. Start assignments while your memory of the assignment is accurate.
- Blocks of study time should be limited to no more than 4 hours, and no less than 2 hours for any one course at a time. Use 15 minutes to start up and 15 minutes to review. Take a break in between studying different courses. Keep a pad handy when studying for intrusive thoughts (i.e. “email John”)
- Planning study times at regular times and in regular places will help to establish good study habits. A good rule of thumb is to find a quiet area on campus to study rather than going back to your residential room where there may be increased distractions. Also, know what you are studying, having a focus on the study time will be more productive than just listing “study time” on your calendar.
- Increase the amount of time you estimate for an assignment, assignments can take longer than you expect and this will prevent you from running out of time. If you finish before expected, that’s bonus time, which is a reward for finishing early. A tool that you might find useful for calculating the time for an assignment and helping you to break the assignment into smaller steps can be found at Research Paper Calculator: https://rpc.elm4you.org/.
- Make sure you have time for meals, sleep (8-9 hours daily, no less than 7 hours) and exercise. All of these increase your concentration, mood and energy level.
3. Create a daily to-do list every day.
This should be done the night before or at breakfast that day, allow 15 minutes. Keep the following in mind when you create your list:
Prioritize the list and label items using the ABCS method:
- A - items that are necessary to be done today
- B - items that should get done if the A’s get done
- C - items that do not get done today or tomorrow will be fine
- S - Short busy work (e.g. emails, phone calls, etc)
If any item on the list is too large or overwhelming, break it down into smaller pieces. Don’t wait to ask for help if you are not meeting your deadlines.
Tips to calm stress: http://www.campuscalm.com/time_management.html