Managing your time well is the key to success in university. You need to be consistent in the way you address scheduling time for studying, work, rest and play. Creating a weekly schedule is one of the best ways to figure out how to manage your time. If you want help putting together a schedule, stop by the SSSC and one of our mentors would be happy to help you out!
How to Build Your Weekly Schedule
- Start with a blank piece of paper or document. Make a list of all of the things you need to put on your schedule. Make sure to include class time, lab hours, tutorials and discussion groups, PASS sessions, work, office hours, extracurricular activities, volunteering, sleep, getting ready in the morning, time to eat, travel time to and from work and school, study time, exercise and free time. Don't leave anything out that you do on a regular basis.
- Now that you have a complete list, separate the items on the list into categories. You will most likely have mandatory items (classes, tutorials, work), essential items (sleep, eating, travel time), optional items (volunteering, exercise, extracurricular activities), and flexible items (study time, breaks). Items can fall into different categories depending on the person, so do whatever feels right to you.
- Once you have your categories, you can start building your schedule. Open a blank spreadsheet (Excel). You can write out a weekly schedule by hand, but it is more difficult to make changes as you go along. To get started, you can use the SSSC weekly schedule template in PDF or EXCEL formats.
- Start by adding in the mandatory items (things that cannot be changed) to your schedule. Then move on to the essential items.
- You will most likely have large gaps throughout your schedule at this point such as night time or throughout the day. Fill in the rest of these with optional items and flexible items.
- After all of this is in, make sure to set aside a couple of hours a week of time for yourself. This is for going out or getting that extra sleep that everyone dreams of.
Schedule Building Tips
- Always leave enough time for travel to and from work, home and school.
- Although it may be hard at first, staying on track with your schedule will help you achieve better grades. And after a while it will become second nature.
- If something isn't working, you can always adjust your schedule. Your schedule is typed in a computer, not carved in stone.
- Always leave time to eat healthy meals that will energize you throughout the day. It is also possible to have some snacks in class (but not in labs, so make sure to eat before 3-5 hour long labs).
- Colour coding your schedule helps you distinguish things when you are exhausted.