We lead busy lives; there’s no doubt about it. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a student in the lower grades, college or grad school, or already out in the workforce. Regardless, we all have multiple due dates, various obligations tied to family, friends, and organizations, and also need time to take care of ourselves. In addition, we all seem to have those last minute events that pop up when least expected. Sometimes they’re good surprises; sometimes they’re not so good. But they do pop up, and the only way to juggle our responsibilities is to figure out a way to calendar for success.
Following these guidelines might seem difficult at first, but they will save you, and those who are in your life, from experiencing last minute stress, unnecessary upsets, and missed due dates:
• Use a calendar that displays a full month at the same time; the month needs to be roughly the size of an 8.5” x 11’ notebook paper.
• Go through two months and record any activities of which you are already aware. Do not include your work or school days, but do mark off any holidays, sporting events or practices, meetings, social engagements, trips, doctor appointments, etc. You will now be able to see, at a glance, the time that is available to you for the entire two months.
• Post these calendars where they are easy to see; that may be near your desk, in the kitchen, or any location that works best for you.
• Assign each subject a color, like English = red, Science = green, Social Studies = blue.
• Each time a new “big” assignment is given (tests, projects, essays), use the assigned color to record what is due on which date. Then count back two school days, and put a target on that date in the same color. This is the date you want the assignment complete.
Your final instruction is to be prepared every step of the way. If the target date is on the 2nd of the month, it doesn’t mean that’s when you start work; that means you want to be finished by then. You have now built in “wiggle room” in case you need more time to refine a finished project, or something unexpected pops up.
Make sure you consider every piece that will be needed to complete each task: making study cards; writing a rough draft; writing a final draft; completing each part of the project; assembling the project; practicing the oral presentation. Everything needs to be done as far in advance as possible, including studying; the only thing you want to do during those final two days is have a final review of information, or add finishing touches.
Do you need personal instruction for this? I offer group and personal sessions for Study and Organization Skills. Let me know if I can help.
It is my pleasure to be of assistance.