AALC Term Calendar ................................................
Using the Academic Planning Calendar
One of the most useful activities to organize your life is to take the time at the beginning of the term to combine all of your coursework deadlines on one page. It gives you a total picture of your term and helps you pace your energy accordingly. It forces you to examine all of your syllabi, find out what you will be graded on, and plot deadlines on one piece of paper. If a project involves a large amount of preparation, it allows you to break it into stages and make your own personal deadlines so the project gets done on time with the least amount of stress. Seeing things plotted out for the term (or by the week or by the day) makes the responsibilities seem more manageable and less overwhelming. Scheduled tasks are more likely to get done. If you are current on reading and homework assignments, you will avoid last minute cramming for tests and will reduce anxiety.
Suggestions for the term planner:
Now take a look at your planner. Are there problem weeks that you can spot already? What can you do now to make sure you are more prepared for those weeks? In other words, you are trying to even out the energy load during the term instead of having roller coaster ups and downs. Have you taken on a reasonable load for yourself this term? Organize and prioritize your studies so it’s not competing with work, family, friends, etc. Come up with a plan week by week to get the job done.
There isn’t any one tool that works for everyone. However, if you have had difficulty with time management, please make an effort to use some of these tools this term and evaluate whether they help you or not.
If you ever need more copies of these tools, they are available in the Academic Advising & Learning Center.
Time Budget Tips
This worksheet is designed to help you budget and manage your time from week to week. It begins with being aware where your 168 hours of the week are going. Many of your hours will be non-negotiable time and are pretty set from week to week, such as class hours, jobs, sports, commuting, etc. Others will be more flexible and are more difficult for people to assess how much time they are using, such as socializing, meals, personal care, etc. Two areas that become negotiable for many students but shouldn’t be are sleep and study time. It’s important to know how much sleep your body needs to function at its peak and not shortchange yourself. For study time, it is also important not to shortchange yourself. The rule of thumb is to spend 2-3 hours studying for every hour you are in class. That means if you are taking 15 credits, you should budget 30 to 45 hours a week for studying. Some classes may not take that much time for you but others will take more. It is a pretty accurate rule of thumb to SUCCEED in your classes (A’s & B’s) rather than DO OK (C’s or below).
Be honest with yourself in this evaluation. Where is your time really going? Are you including the time you spend watching TV, playing computer games, going to movies or parties, taking catch up naps, time to kick back? These are the hours that really make the day disappear for many people, especially if they don’t have a plan for the day.
How do your totals look? Do you have any uncommitted time leftover? Are you over your budget of 168 hours? Which areas do you have control to change that would still allow you academic and personal success—less social time, less hours to work, etc? What kind of changes, if any, would you like to make this term?
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