Now that I’m approaching my last semester of college, I think I have finally have the whole scheduling out my time thing down pat. Scheduling during college is hard because 1. Things change every semester and 2. You have about 10 different facets of life to focus on at once. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you plan ahead, but not too far ahead or you could easily overwhelm yourself! This is how I plan my entire semester, while staying on track week to week.
At the beginning of the semester, I plan everything out in my apple calendar. I use the apple calendar (I have a Macbook Pro) because it will give me notifications for events and sync to my phone without any extra apps. On the calendar I document due dates, tests, and any other important events. BUT there’s a method to it.
If you’re a visual person like me you know how stressful it can be to look at a calendar with 10 different events on one day, all in 10 different colors. That is why it’s super important to me to create a brand new calendar for each separate class, or ‘category’ of activity I have. I even go as far as creating a “class schedule” calendar I can click on and off that way I can delete classes if they are cancelled or reference any time changes etc.
A reference photo of my calendars all turned on:
I’m sure a lot of you already do something like this, and if you do don’t worry there’s more to it! I think some of the key things that differentiate my method from just entering things into your calendar are:
Setting notifications to 24 hours before a due date/important event.
Creating a separate calendar for each classes due dates/test dates, and then a general class schedule.
Syncing to your phone to always have it with you and updated.
Once I have everything for the entire semester mapped out, I create a note that is always only ONE WEEK ahead of me. THIS IS SO KEY! Planning too far in advance will make your head spin. I love planning but sometimes get so overwhelmed by the future that it’s hard for me to get things done and actually evaluate my free time. This has helped me with that so much! Here’s an example of a few days I scheduled:
This is how I write my list for the week:
- I always write down the big things I have to do/places I have to be for each day first. For me these things are classes, workouts, and occasional other activities (social events, project meetings, etc.).
- Next, I’ll fill in times when I am going to work on or finish specific homework assignments. I schedule in exactly what I’m working on and exactly when. This is definitely one of the more type A things I do, but for me it eases my mind to know I have it ‘scheduled’ instead of looming over me!
- Finally I will look over my calendar, making sure I didn’t miss anything important, and also glance at the following week to make sure I don’t need to work ahead. I’ll fill up any free time I have with other things I was hoping to get done during the week, like blogging.
& that’s it! Super easy, and it helps me to prioritize my daily/weekly tasks while seeing how much I can really do in a day. With this method I’ve stopped wasting time doing “nothing” because I know that if I work ahead I’ll have free time later on.
Reference your calendar often.
If you don’t look back at both your calendar and your weekly note, you could miss something. That’s why notifications and checking in daily are important.
Schedule your workouts.
Even if you don’t have workout classes, pick a time to get to the gym or go for a walk etc! It helps if it’s already in your calendar before the week even begins.
Plan, but be flexible.
I always give myself more time than I’ll actually need on an assignment or task, because otherwise if I don’t finish it I’ll have to adjust my entire schedule again. And if you get done early, it’s a nice treat!
Hopefully you enjoyed these tips, and learned something! I finally feel like I have an organization method that works for me, and I’m super excited I was able to share. Remember that if this doesn’t work for you, keep trying and develop something that does. We all have different schedules and demands, and quite frankly this kind of schedule could change once I’m in the working world! Do what works best for you ALWAYS.