Creating a Study Timetable
As a student in a university or college, you will discover there is so much to do, that it may not be so easy to put up with everything as effectively as possible. While there may be loads of work for you, that is still not an excuse to fail. How well you are able to manage your time when you are in school will go on to affect other things in your life. One of the effective ways of managing time, over time, has been the use of timetables. For a student, the most important personal activity, apart from normal class attendance is perhaps studying. For study to be effective, it must be well planned, arranged and must be well thought out. A proper study timetable, when followed religiously, can guarantee the student some predictable level of success. What are the factors you should consider when making a timetable? Should you just make a timetable because others are making timetable, without thinking of how effective and feasible it will be for you? You should personally realise the importance of scheduling your activities and seek the right way to plan your studies so that your efforts toward academic success can be celebrated when you eventually attain success. The following points will help you to be able to craft out a proper study timetable for yourself.
Factor in All Important Dates
When you want to create your study timetable, try to factor in certain important things that should you omit, can eventually affect your schedule in an interruptive manner. Factor in your examination dates, tests, important occasions like weddings you have to attend. This will help you to know how to appropriately schedule the subjects or courses as and when appropriate. It will also help you to prepare ahead of days that you may not have time to study, you will be able to make provision to cover for those future lapses ahead.
Consider the Fixed Activities
There are activities that are fixed, cast-in-stone, which you have no control over. Things like classes, religious programmes which you are committed to, important meetings (you may be part of a group or an executive), factor in all these fixed engagements and ensure that you leave the space for them in your timetable, this is part of your timetable being proper. If by any means you put another activity at a time that you are supposed to be engaged at something else which is important, then something will suffer. List out all those fixed activities and fix them into their appropriate timings.
Plan Your Break Time/Free Time
Make out time for breaks, this will make your timetable more practical and feasible. Not planning the right time to ease yourself a little from the study or other activities could mean choking yourself up with diverse activities and you are unable to find time to rest or have some good fun. Therefore, as an essential part of your timetable, put in breaks, regular breaks, not too long, but enough for you to quickly cool off and resume the next thing on your agenda. Ensure that these breaks are breaks indeed and are not used for doing some other form of task. Take the break or relaxation time as serious as you take the work time.
List Essential Day to Day Activities
There are tasks that you do daily, which are part of your normal day. Probably house chores, picking up a younger sibling, staying at a shop, or going for an evening job. All these daily activities should be listed out. Also try to list the small tasks that you will need to do to get the bigger tasks done. Like considering what you will need to do to be able to do the morning chores at the right time, then factor in those little tasks as well. If you have to cook before leaving early in the morning, then you might want to consider things you will need to put in place to get that done at the right time. This will help you to keep on track.
Evaluate Your List
Take the time to consider your list, ensure that you analyse your list critically, take off the tasks that are unnecessary, check and see if there are tasks or activities on your list that can be delegated which in that case you may not need to include in your time-table. By evaluating your list, ensure that the activities or tasks left on the list after evaluation are such as are necessary.
Allot Time to the Activities
GO ahead and attach the various activities on your list to the suitable times and days. List all the courses you have to study, consider their order of difficulty, consider their credit units, consider their importance and then allot time to the courses as appropriate so that you will have needed time to attend to each course accordingly.
Identify Your Optimal Times
While planning your study timetable, you already know that by planning a study timetable, you have to factor in all other important tasks of the day. Therefore it is important for you to know your best time for studying. If you know you are most alert, creative or productive in the morning, then you should consider putting the important tasks in the morning, such tasks as will demand more thinking and attention. Ensure that your studying time at your most productive hours of the day. This will ensure that you are alert and alive enough to get the best from your study time. You don’t want to shift your study period to times of the day when you are already tired and weak. You should shift less important tasks or tasks that you can still cope with when you are tired at less productive hours of the day. Your productive hours could be anytime, morning, afternoon, night, just ensure you find out and you are able to plan your timetable with that knowledge.
Allot Sufficient Time
You should ensure that you allot sufficient time for all your tasks and study periods. Make room for instances that could occur where you may need to use more time than expected for a particular task.
Use Colours if You Like
You could decide to use different colours to colour up different activities and tasks on your time-table. Easily, by looking at your timetable for the day, you will be able to know which task is taking more portion of your day.
Allot More Time to Difficult Subjects
Be deliberate about allotting more time to courses that you know you need more time to dwell on for proper assimilation. Or if the course is wide in scope, you may want to create more time for you to cover up.
Draw the Plan Out
Take time to correctly draw out the plan with each activity correctly and clearly linked to its allotted time.
Test Your Schedule
Try to use your time-table and see if you are able to use it well. If it works well for you, then fine, but if it needs some changes and adjustments, then you should do that.