Mar 2 2015

The Art of Planning : To Do List to Get it All Done

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The monotonous ticking of the clock does little justice to the true speed with which time passes. Even though physicists have spent decades in research, I believe that the only people who truly understand the frightening, almost nauseating speed of time are college students.

A semester that’s supposed to last three months seems to disappear in a frightening mass of missed deadlines, empty coffee cups, crumpled revision notes and last minute cramming. Planning a semester can get pretty crazy and getting it right has almost become an art. Here are some tips to help you stay efficient and organized throughout the semester:


  1. Picking the right planner: This can have a major effect on how you organize your semester. The right planner has to be convenient, easy to use and aesthetically appealing. It must be something you can carry at all times and refer to constantly. Something that can track your grades so you are constantly on top of your scores. While some people enjoy the old school feel of a paper planner, most students these days are turning to online alternatives like the student planner provided by


  1. Planning backwards: If you’re still planning out your deadlines and goals on a paper planner or an actual calender, write another entry reminding you of the upcoming deadlines a few days earlier. Online planners like the one offered by universitytwig can be configured to display reminders on your smart phone or computer.


  1. Being efficient: Add deadlines and plans to your planner as soon as you get them or you’ll end up forgetting to add them (which is almost as bad as missing the deadlines anyway). If you’ve got an online planner, just pull out your phone and add an entry when you’re girlfriend schedules a date (remember, your social life is a time factor too!). A small pocket sized planner works well if you’re used to adding entries on the go.


  1. Recording your grades: Create records of all your grades so you can keep an eye on how you’re doing. Doing this early on creates an awareness of your standing in the class, and you can actually track whether your performance is improving or slipping. University twig’s online planner has a really convenient interface where you can record all your grades and track yourself from wherever you are.


  1. Revision isn’t something you leave until finals week is looming like a vast approaching army in the distance. Going through what you learn on a daily basis is ideal, but even if you don’t do that you should set up a revision timetable for the semester. Pull out your smart phone, open up that planner and get to work. Make sure you divide time between harder and easier subjects… no point studying what you already know.


Try following these tips and see if your semester is a little more orderly than it was last time. Put in the effort to actually follow through on your plans and remember to reward yourself for successfully completing your goals. Have a fun semester!