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Student Productivity: How to Build Your Fall Semester Study Calendar

November 17th, 2008 admin

It’s November, and that means crunch time before the wonderfulness of Thanksgiving and Winter breaks! Don’t let yourself get beaten down by your workload–prep now so you can relax later.

Break it Down

Okay first things first–mark all the dates of your upcoming projects, presentations, and tests on your calendar. It sounds simplistic but you’d be surprised how quickly things pile up when you’re not expecting them. Then make those days clearly visible on your calendar by making them a different, bright color.

…Red for doom seems appropriate. 😉

“Guesstimate” Your Work Load

Did your middle school teachers use that word as much as mine did?

Sorry, off topic. What I mean is try to guess how much time it will take you to get your studying/work/research done for each of the items you just wrote down, add two to four hours for interruptions, and WRITE DOWN YOUR GUESSTIMATED TIME. Otherwise you will forget.

**TIP: If you’re doing a project with someone else, I would add a considerable amount of extra time, like a few hours, to your guesstimate. Group projects often put more weight on the hard workers, and if you’re making a study calendar, that means you’re it. So save your grade and give yourself some leeway.

Schedule Your Time

Now that you’ve got your time guesstimates and your due dates, it’s time to mark out your work time. If you start now you should be early enough to spread out study for finals and get projects done without a lot of cramming and brain-numbing textbook skimming.

Start by spreading out your subjects based on:

1.) What is due first, and
2.) Which will take the most work.

Obviously these two criteria will determine which things come first, but this is basically up to your discretion–you know how you work best and what takes you longest. Make sure you spread out your work, though, so you don’t end up cramming for any one thing at the end OR suffer from subject burnout.

**TIP: When you schedule your work blocks in each calendar square, schedule play blocks, too, and stick to both. You need both work and play to feel accomplished and human when life gets hectic!

REschedule Your Time

You might choose to do this every day or every week, but make a regular habit of sitting down and revising your calendar. Maybe you finish a project early–use the leftover time to get a jump on something else. Took longer than you thought to write that French paper? Better allot some extra study time to your Chem class in next week’s schedule.

Cross off Your Finished Work

You don’t have to do this, but I always find it cathartic to scribble out something I’ve finished and give it that final “Hasta La Vista!!!”

Good luck… Remember to hold on to that light at the end of the tunnel–Winter Break!!!

photo: calendar by lupy2002

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9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. College Candy » Can&hellip  |  November 21st, 2008 at 8:25 am

    […] for studying for finals without losing your […]

  • 2. Student Learning Disabilities  |  January 26th, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    That’s some great information there Jamie. Needed to do a effective study calendar. And I guess this post has all what I wanted. Too bad I didn’t come across this on November 🙁 sigh! Anyway wonderful article. I’m going to bookmark this for this year. Thanks for the article. Cheers

  • 3. 2008: Best College Tips O&hellip  |  February 1st, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    […] College Life always has loads of helpful college articles. Some recent ones that stand out are Student Productivity: How to Build Your Fall Semester Study Calendar, No More Cafeteria Food: Mix it Up With Fun Recipe Sites and Ridiculously Easy Ways to Kick […]

  • 4. Kristi @ Low Book Sales  |  February 3rd, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    That’s really awesome. I needed something like this to make one for my son. Thanks for the tips. i made one but now I need to tweak it using these tips. Thanks again. Cheers

  • 5. Surviving College Life &r&hellip  |  February 4th, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    […] I am a proponent of productivity. In fact in the past I’ve dedicated many a post to getting your act together and getting some work […]

  • 6. Fluke Ti10 Thermal Imager  |  February 14th, 2009 at 7:06 am

    Great post. This is very helpful. I will definitely try this out this year. Thanks a lot for sharing the information with us.

  • 7. Fluke TiR1 Infrared Camera  |  February 15th, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    That’s really cool. Finally I can get somewhat productive with my college work. I haven’t been a really productive student lately. and it was worrying me. But with this I can take my first step to being productive. Thanks.

  • 8. LGA Limo  |  March 2nd, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    Some really cool tips. this is exactly what we need at my home. Thanks a lot for the tips. I’ll set this calendar up this fall. Appreciate the efforts. Cheers

  • 9. Making a Solid Study Plan&hellip  |  February 4th, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    […] blog called Surviving College Life stresses how things can easily change in your college life, so you have to learn how to revise and […]

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