Are you someone that gets a planner and never knows how to use it? Or do you find yourself skipping months at a time in it? Does the desire to have a great year and accomplish your goals melt away within one month? Well, I will show you how to properly plan your time using a 5 step process.
Write down everything
This should go without saying but many people think they can keep everything in their brain and end up forgetting most things. I don’t recommend having more than two places where you write everything down (I use Apple Calendar and a daily planner). If you exceed two places, then you will forget to check stuff and be overwhelmed - just make it easier on yourself and keep stuff in the same place. When I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING. You will not remember that random time change, essay due date, and sporadic homework assignment. Write down the test date, the recital time, and even social events (if those are happening right now).
No matter how much you plan, something will go wrong. I hate to be that person but someone will interrupt, the event’s time will change, or the weather will change. To become a good planner, you have to be able to change when things happen to you. That being said, you cannot give up your plans for scrolling endlessly through social media or watching a show.
Split it Up
Your goal is to not push things to the last minute. You will feel stressed out and unprepared by procrastinating things. My advice: split it up. Let’s say you have to write a paper about the Mughal rule due in four weeks. Your goal for week one should be to research the interwebs and search the textbook. In week two, you should create a thesis and outline of your paragraphs. During week three, you should write your paper (it shouldn’t be that difficult comparatively). And finally, during week four, you should revise and edit your paper. This process would ensure you won’t end up writing the paper on the last day and not know what you are talking about. However, if you were super busy one week, be flexible and revise your plan to finish your project.
No one can go from zero to one hundred in one night. Don’t put unreasonable expectations on yourself. Easily ease into the work. A good rule of thumb is that a habit is built in 20 days.
This is an important step because you have to learn from your mistakes. You are human; you will not be perfect the first time around but you can get there eventually. Reflecting can come in many forms such as a habit tracker or a daily journal. Every day is a new opportunity to get better - so use it. Just because yesterday wasn’t a good day, don’t change anything for today.
I hope that these tips helped you. Make sure that you do not give up and you will get what you are striving for!!
Haas Hall Academy Fayetteville Freshman