6 tips for making a schedule that works for you

From the structure to format — your schedule should be caterered to what you need it to do to. 

That might include keeping track of your schoolwork, job and other things that are important to you.

1. Choose where your schedule will live

Do you like to write your schedule in a notebook/agenda or do you prefer an electronic schedule? Whichever format you choose, be sure it is something you enjoy using and will check frequently.  

2. Use a term and weekly schedule

Using two planners might sound like a lot to keep track of, but it can be helpful in looking ahead and managing more immediate responsibilities.

Think of a term schedule as a long-term view of the term from start to finish with all the important dates (assignment due dates, tests, exams, etc.) from each of your classes. A weekly schedule is more detailed and focuses on immediate activities that need to happen between important dates.

The two schedules should complement each other and should allow you to look ahead, whether that is by week or by month. 

Try: Term schedule worksheet or Weekly schedule worksheet

3. Schedule breaks

You might find it difficult to do this because of how busy you get in the semester, but breaks are VERY important for the quality of your work. Plan breaks in your schedule and give yourself clear limits on how long they will be.

Breaks can help make sure you’re able to rest and get back to your tasks refreshed.

4. Block off time

Include classes, study time, labs, group meetings, phone calls with mom, etc. so you know how much time you will spend on them. Doing this can help you keep track of “slow” and busy times during the semester.

Try your best to stick to the time you’ve set. Don’t be afraid to revise your time blocks if you find that you need to spend more time doing something. 

Tip: When blocking time, try to be as realistic as you can in the time you give yourself to complete tasks. Refer to a past experience completing the same or similar task to estimate the time it will take you to complete it.

Try: Time block weekly schedule worksheet

5. Expect to take more time completing tasks that involve other people

For example, group work assignments might be completed at a different pace than what you are used to doing in independent work.

Waiting for an important response from an instructor/professor could also push back your schedule for completing your project. Estimating this extra time and building it into your schedule can minimize how this impacts you.

6. Review your schedule regularly and revise as needed

Do the activities that take up your time bring you closer to your goals? Would you have benefited from more breaks? Feel like you could have gotten more out of your time?

Don't be afraid to re-evaluate and if you need help doing this, book a meeting with a Peer Success Coach.