Sometimes students, or anyone really, think that their schedule is their enemy. They feel like a schedule is a prison or authoritarian dictator.
If this is the case for you, then you are doing it wrong!
Your schedule is not your enemy.
In fact, it can become your friend and a lifesaver in some cases. Okay, it is rarely literally a lifesaver, but still.
When you set up your schedule – and remember it is yours, so unless you are a dictator, it can’t be one - make sure you leave room for all your activities.
You need to take into consideration your responsibilities, of course. These are the core of your schedule, but you will also be planning for breaks, meals, and sleep – all important components of learning as well as life!
Also, you should make your schedule with others in mind. For example, you cannot honestly schedule yourself to do study time at 5 pm Wednesdays when you know every Wednesday at 5 pm someone else is going to require your attention. That is more like a planned excuse to escape study time.
Make sure you slot in time for sports, video games, movies, and so on.
You do not have to have everything timed to the last minute; however, blocks of time that generally include all of your activities with more delineated separations between those that are necessary and those that are not can be helpful.
In my experience, there are two kinds of non-schedulers.
1. Those that work all the time. Basically, because they have no schedule, these people are always working – or, at least, thinking of work. They can’t “conclude” their list or schedule because they don’t have one, but they don’t have a relaxation committee in their head, so they are forced to be “on” all the time. This is not healthy and counterproductive to getting the most out of your learning.
2. Those that work only when they are told what to do. These people see learning as a chore and something to “get over with.” They are not committed to learning or doing their best, except perhaps when they are forced into it. Their “best” is a fantasy, however, because they haven’t done the leg-work to truly do their best. It is only their best at the moment without much preparation, review, recitation, or care. Again, this is counterproductive to getting the most out of your learning. This method could be unhealthy as well because many of these people are overly stressed when exam time comes, and they suddenly realize that they have done very little on their own and have almost no independent knowledge. Bad idea.
If you are not already using some form of a schedule, I encourage you to start. You can use a day planner, a calendar (paper or online), or another online platform or app.
I use my day planner and a to-do list every day. I use Trello (online) more occasionally for longer-term lists. My day planner is a book that I can hold in my hand. I find this much better for me because I often have to make quick changes. It is faster to write in my book than to get on the computer, sign in to an app, etc. For others who use cell phones as their lifeline, then apps might be a better option as long as your technology always works. (Remember no excuses like low battery or failed connection should dominate.)
Your schedule can be an awesome way to help you stay sane, accomplish more, improve the quality of all the tasks you do, and free up more time for the most inviting and exciting activities!
Give it a try. You might like it.
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