My Take: Scheduling and Planning

Here we go!  It’s been a while, and I had this article lined up for so long I wanted to post it (finally).  I’ll make it relatively painless.  This is my take on scheduling and planning, from someone who actually (somewhat) enjoys it.

I think we all know why we need a schedule, so let me cut to the chase.  It takes a while to plan out a week the first time, but I got faster as I practiced.

I’m telling you, from personal experience, that sitting down and planning out the week for an hour (or two) literally saved me days of time, literally.  I’m not being hyperbolic for effects, nor am I being a typical teenager abusing the l-word.  I’m serious.

Here’s my routine.  I did it every week as soon as I got home from community day.

Materials:

  • paper
  • writing utensil
  • calculator
  • your school books
  • calendar (optional)

First, I add up needed hours.

I add up all the hours I’ll take to do everything.  I overestimate a bit on purpose to leave room for margin time.  I flip through my books and look at my assignments, using the Challenge Guide.  I make sure not to forget extracurriculars.  Using the calculator helps greatly.

Here’s an example of how I would plot a summer week out on a piece of paper:

P1040495

Second, I add up given hours.

I add up all the hours I have available to work.  I’ll also check my calendar for events, classes, etc. that will take up my time.

As you can see in the following image, I wrote down the total amount of available time per day.  Then I added up all the days to get my total hours for the week.  I always make sure to overestimate for breaks and the unexpected.

P1040490

Next, I compare needed hours and given hours.

I compare the hours I need to study and actually how much I have for the week.

If needed hours are greater than given hours, I look through my weekly homework and scale down to fit within the given hours.  It took me a while to realize I’m perfectly fine if I scale down . . . how much stress I would have avoided had I only allowed myself!

If given hours are greater than needed hours, I can take a deep breath and relax.  Yay!  I can get things done earlier, polish things more, review more, etc.  This is a good thing.

If needed hours and given hours are equal, that’s going to be a little tight.  I just make a mental note of what can be scaled down if I have to, and work diligently throughout the week.

If I can, I try to get things done earlier in the week rather than later to avoid having to cram at midnight the day before school.  I only did that a couple of times during Challenge A.  It scared me enough to never do it again!

Lastly, I do the (sorta) fun part.

Now, I plot out what I need to do each day into a planner or notebook.  I like my bullet journal, not for doing artsy stuff (it takes too long), but for its adjustable lines.  I use the little sheet of hours I made earlier to make sure I space out my work according to how much time I have.

If you decide to try out this method, keep in mind that you’ll become more familiar with how much time you need after a couple of weeks of planning.  Also, if you prepare yourself to be flexible, it will really relieve a lot of stress.  This is all from personal experience, and it really helped me succeed through Challenge A and B!

I hope this helped!

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