Planning can be divided into long range and short range.
- Long range planning can last several years. This is the planning that gives overall direction towards goals.
- Short range planning includes weekly and daily planning, which increases your general effectiveness; and one month planning, that enables you to notice possible crises before they occur.
When you say "I don't have time," you are really saying "I choose to do something else with my time." When assigning priority to your tasks, consider Value versus Urgency.
Tasks that have significant value may not have immediate deadlines, but do have eventual impact of great importance on the accomplishment of your goals.
Urgent items can easily get most of your focus, at the expense of the higher, long term value tasks. Always make time for some of your valued tasks, then fill in around the edges with urgent, more-quickly-completed items.
Make to do lists that encourage you to balance different kinds of needs for both responsibility and pleasure.
- Rate each item, whether school related or personal, from 1-5, in order of importance to you. When deciding what goes on the list, consider;
- What I should do vs. What I want to do?
- What's valuable vs. What's urgent
Remember that not taking care of yourself will limit your efficiency. Valuable uses of time may also include keeping up your important friendships/relationships.
Curtail "Time Bandits"
- Internet Use - Set a timer for 30 minutes to stay aware of how much time is passing.
- Television/Video - Plan ahead for which shows you will watch. Don't turn it on randomly.
- Phone/Texting/instant messaging - Try to wait to replyuntil you have a study break or have finished your homework. If you do reply at once, tell your friends you will get back to them when you get finished. They will still like you!
- Distractions - Eliminate as many as you can. Choose times to study when roommates are busy with quiet activities or gone, or find a quiet niche elsewhere.
- Lying Down - Leads to sleepiness when studying. Don't go there.
- Errands - Working in small errands daily will help you avoid having to spend a whole day weekly "catching up".
- Notice the time of day when your energy is high, and schedule your more demanding work at that time.
- Break up large jobs into smaller ones. For example, when writing a paper, schedule separate times to collect resources, read the materials, write an outline, compose the paper, edit, and put on the finishing touches.
Notice Each Day's Accomplishment
Sometimes it is easier to focus on what we didn't get done each day. Make a habit of giving yourself credit for what you did.
There's no good reason to postpone taking action.