Better three hours too soon, than one minute too late.
— William Shakespeare
1. Get — and use — a calendar. It can be a paper calendar. It can be your cell phone. No matter what kind it is, though, make sure you have one.
2. Write down everything. Write down everything in one place. (Having multiple calendars just gives you more to do in an already tight schedule.) Schedule when you plan to sleep, when you are going to socialise, when you’re going to call your friends. The crazier your schedule gets, the more important this becomes.
3. Schedule time to relax. Don’t forget to schedule in time to relax. Just because your calendar goes from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. doesn’t mean you can.
4. Keep trying new systems. If your cell phone calendar isn’t big enough, buy a paper one. If your paper one keeps getting torn, try a smart tablet. If you have too many things written down each day, try colour-coding to help simplify. Very few college students make it through their programs without some kind of calendaring system; keep trying until you find one that works for you.
5. Allow for flexibility. Things inevitably come up that you weren’t expecting. You may not have known that your best friend’s birthdayis this week, and you certainly don’t want to miss the celebrations! Leave room in your calendar so that you can move things around a little when needed.
6. Plan ahead. Do you have a large assignment due the last week of the term? Work backward in your calendar and figure out how much time you need to write it, how much time you’ll need to research it, and how much time you’ll need to pick your topic. If you think you’ll need six weeks for the entire project, work backward from the due date and schedule the time into your calendar before it’s too late.
7. Plan for the unexpected. Sure, you just might be able to pull off two papers and a presentation during review week. But what happens if you catch the flu the night you’re supposed to be pulling the all-nighter? Expect the unexpected so you don’t have to spend more unplanned time trying to fix your mistakes.
8. Schedule rewards in. Your review week is a nightmare, but it will all be over Friday by 2:30. Schedule a fun afternoon and a nice activity with some friends; your brain will need it, and you can relax knowing that you’re not supposed to be doing anything else.