Guidelines to Effective Planning
Effective planning deals with how to design a plan that
is right for you, a plan based on your schedule, your interests, and your
most productive times of day. Schedule no more than 60 to 75
percent of your time.
Short Term Planning
1. Schedule fixed blocks of time first. Start with time periods
that are usually predetermined. Other activities can then be scheduled
around them. Start with class time and work time, for example. Then
schedule other essential daily activities, such as eating and sleeping.
2. Include time for errands. Miscellaneous errands done throughout
the week are often neglected. These little errands can destroy a
tightly bound schedule and make us feel rushed all week. Plan time
for small errands, such as doing laundry and going grocery shopping.
3. Schedule time for fun. Constantly stimulating your brain with
new ideas and new challenges is important. However, your brain needs time
off to digest the information. It is important to "waste" time once
in a while.
4. Set realistic goals. Do not set yourself up for failure by "biting
off more than you can chew". Be realistic in estimating the time
it will take you to complete a task. Sometimes it is even better
5. Allow flexibility in your schedule. Recognize that unexpected
things will happen throughout the day and plan for the unexpected. Leave
some blocks of unplanned time in your schedule for these unexpected emergencies.
6. Study two hours for every hour in class. It is standard advice
to allow two hours of study time for every hour you spend in class. More
is expected of you, as a student, in college than in high school.
The benefits of such a strategy will be apparent at exam time. However,
this is a guideline, not an absolute rule. Consider what is best
7. Avoid scheduling marathon study sessions. When possible, study
in shorter sessions. Shorter study sessions are more productive
than one massive study session. Your concentration level will determine
the length of your study sessions. If you must study in longer periods,
work on several subjects and avoid study similar subjects back to back.
Stop and rest for a few minutes every hour.
8. Set clear starting and stopping times. Tasks are often stretched
to fill the time we allot for them. The point of setting time limits is
to push ourselves a little and discover our maximum time potential.
Long Term Planning
While planning a day or week at a time is a powerful practice, seeing
how your days and weeks fit into the larger picture can yield even more
benefits. Long-term planners help you remember upcoming goals and/or
commitments. This plan is designed to refresh your memory of important