TIme management is the main reason students fail courses
- You need a way to manage your time
- Everyone works differently.
- You don't have to use my system but you need a system.
- If you keep forgetting your homework (or doing it at 4am), something is wrong
- What is your time management system?
- Is it working? (i.e. Do you often submit homework late? Do you often do HW at 3am?)
- Use a SINGLE PLACE
- Use something you CHECK REGULARLY
- Use something you CANNOT AVOID checking
Option 1: Weekly schedule with EVERYTHING
- I made a blank one and left it in the templates folder (TEMPLATE for WEEKLY SCHEDULE.docx)
- Alternatively, make your own or search: (link)
- Remember to schedule EVERYTHING: classes, clubs, sleep, play, relaxation time.
- Try to allow some spare time for unexpected issues like late trains.
- If you don't like paper, try Google Calendar.
- If you don't use separate sheets, use a page-a-day diary
Option 2: Inbox Zero (Malc's version)
1) Email yourself tasks you can do now.
2) If you can't do it NOW (dentist, meetings) make a Google Calendar event. Set up email reminders.
3) Every time you check your email, you see your task list. No escape!
4) Your aim is to keep your inbox empty.
- In Japanese: (link)
- I recommend you STAR or FLAG your task emails so they don't get lost.
- You also need a schedule, but only for things you do every week (e.g. classes)
- Some things are paper only. For those, my desk is the inbox (things on the desk need to be done, my aim is to clear my desk)
Option 3: Post its
This is used by some of my best organised students.
- 1) Buy some post-its
- 2) Have a place you always look at in your room ( a board or a wall)
- 3) Every task is a post-it. Important/Urgent ones get moved to the top
- 4) You aim is a clean wall/board!
- 5) Use a diary for tasks you cannot do now.
- 6) Every day, review your wall. Move diary tasks to wall.
Option 4: To-do apps
For example, Google Tasks.
Only use somethign that can send you notifications to annoy you into doing homework. You will never willingly click that button at the weekend.
- a whiteboard and marker (instead of post-its)
- a diary, with all homework on it
- write everything in a little notebook (warning - many of my worst organised students use this method)
- word cards with one task per card, sorted in order of priority
- Stick ONE post it with ALL tasks as a list onto your phone screen so you can't avoid it.
- Be realistic
- Leave some empty time for surprises - broken PC, flu, club events.
- Break tasks into pieces (e.g. essay = research, write, check, print)
- Plan time for sleep, cooking healthy food, relaxing, friends.
- Plan rewards (e.g. a movie with friends after a big deadline).
- Plan for your energy (e.g. reading in morning, not after lunch)
Still having problems?
Sometimes we do not notice how much time we waste on certain things. Find out where your time is going!
- Write down everything you do for one week.
- There are apps for this e.g. (link)
- Or use the "TEMPLATE for WEEKLY SCHEDULE" blank
- How much time do you spend watching TV? Reading English? At the Gym?
- Make changes to your schedule to limit useless activities.