Divide and Conquer your Calendar
Balancing your time between work and play in college can be tough amidst classes, clubs, and various commitments. One way to make sure your plans stay on track is to organize your week: one week in advance.
For example, spend 15 minutes on Sunday evenings scheduling all important events for Monday through Saturday. With most mobile calendar services, you can create separately colored calendars for different purposes. For example, your activities may be divided into class, clubs, exercise, and work. Use your personalized categories to plan your week. Don’t forget to schedule time for meals! When doing this exercise, it is easy to plan other events during your typical breakfast, lunch, and dinner in order to maximize the day’s productivity, but be mindful of how long you usually spend during these meals and make sure to enter them into your calendar.
Once the entire week is scheduled, use the week-view to get an overview of what’s ahead. As the week progresses, your day’s plans are pre-loaded into your calendar for easy reference. So, if you want to make sure your week has a certain number of study hours, schedule them in advance. If you want to ensure you are getting enough rest, add in a reminder and block off specific times for sleep. See the sample calendar below for an example.
What is all the blue unlabeled time in the calendar above? Since college shouldn’t just be eat, class, sleep, and repeat, it is crucial that you pencil in free time: relaxing, hanging out, and meeting friends among a few examples. It may seem awkward or unnecessary at first to schedule free time, but remember that the purpose of the week-hack is to balance work and play better. If the former is scheduled every day, why not make sure there is adequate time in your week for the latter?
Above all, scheduling your activities and commitments should propel you towards improved time management, but it should not hinder or lock you into a specific day’s agenda. Use the weekly schedule as a template, adjusting as needed each day based on situations that crop up. After a few weeks, it becomes easier to recognize when you are most productive and when free time is best scheduled, and the demands of college become more manageable.
Enjoy a more organized life, One week at a time.