Making a Schedule

Specific Tips for Scheduling

Why Time Scheduling?

Students who deliberately undertake to schedule their time are not ones who have decided to spend all their time studying and doing nothing else. They usually have decided to use efficiently the time they have to spend studying anyway, and to "de-sensitize" themselves to the many distractions that are commonly occurring.

What does this "desensitizing" involve? It means removing oneself from constant day-to-day, hour-to-hour decisions. A workable time schedule can make decisions for you, thus desensitizing you to momentary distractions. And, an hour of study in one course is not disturbed by wondering when you will study for another course, or when you'll be able to get out and have some fun. An adequate schedule includes those for you.

Time Scheduling

Usually a minimum time schedule is best. In other words, plan what you know is necessary, and add to it later only if necessary. But plan a schedule you know you can keep, and one that it is important to you to keep.

First: What courses are you taking? (List them on a sheet of paper)

Second: How many hours do you estimate you should study for each course each week to do a minimum job?

Third: What is the total minimum hours per week for all courses?

Fourth: List your present time schedule for the week, including all fixed times, such as classes, labs, club meetings, outside work, travel, eating, and times you go out for recreation (usually leave at least Friday and Saturday evenings open for recreation).

  • Record class and lab times in appropriate day/hour blocks on a schedule sheet.
  • Record meal times. Scheduling time to eat is important for one’s health!
  • Record all regularly scheduled personal activities such as meetings, employment, and athletics and any other special activities you need to do or want to do on a regular basis

Fifth: Now fill in the remaining hours each week with the number of hours you need to assign to study according to your decision in step two, either by 1) Setting up certain hours in which to study subjects, or 2) Setting aside certain hours that you will study, but not deciding in advance which courses will be studied in which hours.

Sixth: Keep your schedule where you can see it. It should be conspicuous, so put it on top of your desk, or pinned on the wall.

Tips for Scheduling Studying

  • Schedule a preview time (5-30 minutes) immediately before each class whenever possible. During the preview, review all or some of your notes in preparation for the upcoming class. If you have two or three classes in a row, preview from last to first class. Thus, if you have Chemistry and Art at 10 and 11, you might write "P: Art/Chem" in the block before your 10 o'clock class.
  • Schedule a review time immediately after your classes (5-30 minutes) whenever possible. Use this time to edit and summarize your notes. You could also look over any assignments that were given and begin to plan when and how you will do them. Thus for the schedule described above, you might write "R: Art/Chem" in the 12 noon block.
  • Schedule your intensive study/ review time for each class. Try to schedule some study time each day for each class. Learning is more effectively and efficiently accomplished in shorter regular sessions than in longer irregular sessions. When you schedule study time, be task-oriented rather than time-oriented. Think in terms of "blocks of time" and what specifically needs to be accomplished.
  • Schedule a weekly review (WR) for each course. Do it at the end of the week if possible. This weekly review gives you an opportunity to spread out all of the past week's notes along with the reading assignments to see what you have been learning in the past week during class and study time for each course. You can also look ahead to plan the next week and determine how much reading you need to do, what projects are due, and if any tests are scheduled

Remember:

  • Keeping to a schedule is not a matter of "will power," but of the development of a habit of referring to the schedule and following its outline, and this habit development may take weeks of practice.
  • Exceptions will occur, but afterwards return to the schedule's pattern.
  • Keep open some day or evening time for daily physical activity. Remember, research indicates that regular exercise will not only give you a general sense of well-being, but can reduce tension and help you accomplish a tough class, study, and work schedule.
  • Label some empty blocks of time as OPEN for academic or personal needs.
  • Schedule some time during Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for you to play, relax, or do whatever you want to do.