Top 6 scheduling tips
I’m someone who LOVES to stay organized and keeping my schedule in order is a big part of that. Managing your schedule can definitely be difficult as a busy university student, but it’s also such an important skill to master. I’ve compiled a list of tips that I’ve found helpful for managing my time in my five (!) years as a UVic student.
- Use a scheduling tool.
I’m not particularly good at keeping track of anything in my head, so it’s important that it all gets written down. I prefer to maintain my schedule in a hard-copy planner; there is something about physically dividing up my time on paper that really works for me. Plus, my paper planner won’t ever run out of battery!
- Write down important deadlines on the first day of class.
On the first day of class, students receive a syllabus, or course outline, which contains important dates and deadlines. As soon as I receive my syllabus, I transfer all of these dates into my planner, taking note of particularly busy periods and any potential conflicts. If I’m still “course shopping”, or finalizing which courses I’m going to take, timing may influence my decision.
- Use colour.
At the beginning of each term, I assign each class a certain colour of highlighter. After writing down important deadlines, I highlight each with the corresponding colour for that class. Highlighting makes those important dates really stand out, ensuring the deadline doesn’t creep up on me and allows me to note key points in the term for each class.
- Schedule all commitments.
I use my planner to schedule all activities that I have each day, both for school and my life outside of school. I allot chunks of time for class, meetings, work, coffee with friends, or anything else that I may have planned. Even if the activity is routine (for example, I have class every Monday and Thursday at 10 a.m.), I still take note of it. This makes it very easy for me to see, at a glance, what my day looks like and when I have free time.
- Save time to study.
When I’m in full-time classes, I make sure that I have time available each day to study. Basically, any blank space in my planner means that I have that time free for schoolwork if need be. While I will sometimes set aside specific blocks of time for study, I tend to keep a few hours open each day in case I need extra study time.
- Keep to-do lists of unscheduled tasks.
While it may seem obvious, to-do lists are my favourite, old-fashioned way to keep track of unscheduled tasks. I attach sticky notes within my planner, outlining tasks I’d like to accomplish that day or weekend.
Whew, I think that’s it! I’ll admit that I can be more than a little intense about my organization, but this combination of methods has never failed me!