WOU: Study skills - time management

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The Learning Center

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:

  • Gather all of your syllabi and read them carefully
  • Transfer dates for anything you will be evaluated on—tests, quizzes, papers, speeches, presentations, journals, etc. Some people find it helpful to color code these—either a different color for each class or different colors for tests, papers, presentations, etc.
  • You may not have room for reading assignments and other homework if it will make it too cluttered to read
  • Don’t add social and personal dates to this calendar
  • You can usually plot your finals already, from your syllabus or schedule of classes
  • Make 2 copies—one to post where you will see it every day (over desk, bathroom mirror, closet door, etc.) and one to carry with you to check or modify in class

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.

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The Learning Center (503) 838-8428 v/tty | or e-mail: tutoring@wou.edu

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