Step 1. Prepare a Term Calendar
At the start of each new term, before you get heavily involved in your studies or other activities, prepare a calendar that covers the entire term. Your term calendar can look like a regular monthly calendar, or it can employ a different format. Whichever format you choose, your term calendar should outline the following:
Assignments with their due dates
Tests with their dates
All school activities
All out-of-school and extra-curricular activies
Step 2. Prepare a Weekly Schedule
Unlike your term calendar, which is planned out in it entirety at the beginning of each term, your weekly schedule is prepared at beginning of each new week. Each Sunday sit down and prepare your weekly schedule. Although you’ll prepare your weekly schedule each Sunday, you should update your schedule as the week progresses and new items arrise. To prepare your weekly schedule do the following:
Write down on your calendar each class you have for each day of the week
Take a look at your term calendar and write down on your weekly calendar items that need to be completed, or are occuring that week (i.e. assignments, tests, events, etc.)
Go back and review all your class notes and your schedule from the prior week to see if there is anything you need to add to this weeks schedule that is carrying over.
Add to your weekly schedule any out-of-school and extra-curricular activities you’ll be participating in during the upcoming week.
Note down the day and time for each assignment, study session, work group or project you’ll be completing during the week. These may be occuring in the evening, after school, or during school.
Step 3. Prepare a Daily Schedule
You’d think a term calendar and weekly schedule would be sufficient to effectively manage your time, but they aren’t. You also need to prepare a daily schedule. Each evening, prepare a daily schedule for the next school day. Place a check mark next to each item to be completed as it is completed. To prepare your daily schedule do the following:
Jot down everything from your weekly schedule that you need to do for the coming day.
Write down everything from your previous daily schedule that wasn’t completed and needs to be completed the next day.
Check your daily schedule for the current day to see if there are any other school activities that you need to include for the following day.
Include any other activities from your weekly schedule that need to be included in your next day’s schedule
You’ll notice that one of the keys to effectively managing your study time is to start with the big picture and then work down to the detail. Your term calendar provides direction and instruction for accomplishing the big picture. Your weekly and daily schedules provide the detail required to accomplishing everything in your term calendar, whereby enabling you to accomplish your term goals one day and week at a time.