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Using Time Management to Improve Study Skills

 

Most students have high expectations and are filled with excitement at the beginning of each new school year. They envision being successful in school work but may fail to put together a realistic plan or establish a routine that will enable them to achieve academic success. There are only so many hours in a day, days in a week, and weeks in a school year. If you do not pay attention, the end of the school year will arrive before you know it – and catch you by surprise. To achieve academic success it is important to carefully manage your study time on a daily, weekly and semester basis. The following is a time management strategy for doing this.

 

Step 1 –Prepare a Term Calendar
At the start of each new school year, before you get heavily involved in your studies or other activities, prepare a calendar that covers the entire term. Your term calendar can look like a regular monthly calendar or it may use a different format.Whatever format you choose your term calendar should record the following:

 

  • Assignments with their due dates
  • Tests with their dates
  • All school activities
  • All out-of-school and extra-curricular activities

 

Step 2 –Prepare a Weekly Schedule
 
Unlike your term calendar which is planned out in its entirety at the beginning of each term your weekly scheduled is prepared at the beginning of each new week. Each Sunday sit down and prepare your weekly schedule. Although you will prepare your weekly schedule each Sunday you should update your schedule as the week progresses. To prepare your weekly schedule do the following:

 

  • Record on your calendar each class you have for each day of the week
  • Take a look at your term calendar and write down on your weekly calendar things that need to be done or are occurring that week (i.e. assignments, tests, events, etc.)
  • Go back and review all your class notes and your schedule from the prior week to see if there is anything you need to add that is carrying over from the prior week.
  • Add to your weekly calendar any out-of-school and extra-curricular activities you will be participating in
  • Note down the day and time for each assignment, study session, work group or project you will be completing during the week. These may be occurring in the evening after school as well as during school.

 

Step 3 –Prepare a Daily Schedule
 
In order to effectively manage your time you would think that a Term Calendar and Weekly Schedule would be sufficient, but they are not. You also need to prepare a daily schedule. Every evening prepare a daily schedule for the next school day. Place a check mark next to each item to complete as it is accomplished. To prepare your daily schedule do the following:

 

  • Note down everything from your weekly schedule that you need to do for the coming day
  • Note down everything from your previously daily schedule that wasn’t completed and needs to be completed the next day
  • Check your daily schedule for the current day to see if there are any other school activities that you need to include for the next day
  • Include any other activities from your weekly schedule that need to be in your next day’s schedule
 
You will notice that one of the keys to effectively managing your study time is to start with the big picture and then work down to the detail. Your Term Calendar provides direction and instruction for accomplishing the big picture. Your Weekly and Daily Schedules provide the detail required to accomplishing everything in your Term Calendar thereby enabling you to accomplish your term goals one day and week at a time.

 

(Adapted from Education Corner)