Organizational Skills to Save Your Semester
Planning ahead can help you to get the most out of your resources. Some signs of trouble:
- Unable to accomplish task, or
- Creating an uncomfortable amount of tension — either inside you or from others
Specific examples include: a job or course being in jeopardy, relationships suffering, anxiety, feeling bad about yourself, not meeting major goals.
Keys to Success
- Task analysis. This is based on a review of syllabi for each of your courses. Begin by identifying and listing what tasks need to be finished in order to complete the course in a satisfactory manner. Next, list extra credit or supplemental options, e.g., choice of an additional paper instead of a multiple choice final. Using the WU calendar to provide a long term plan is helpful.
- Convert each task into real time - use hours, be realistic. Use past experience or question other students who have either completed or are working on the assignments. Now add an additional 20% contingency time. If you finish on time or early, you can take a break or start something new.
- List goals for each week of the semester in your organizer on each successive Monday.
- Create detailed, daily schedules reflecting class times, study times, work hours when relevant and recreation times.
- Create an organization system for notes on lectures and reading before you begin your first assignment. Modify as needed.
Remember: It is never too late to start managing your time and getting organized. If you did not follow these steps and it is way past midterms, you can still save your semester.