- Have a calendar that you like using: either digital on a smartphone, a paper spiral, a small 3 ring planner, or any system that you will have with you at class, at the library, at work, and at home. I used to use a datebook, then I switched to a flat calendar, and now I use the app on my phone.
- Schedule in time for exercise, doing laundry, going to clubs and social events, and work, not just class and study time. Be realistic.
- Schedule in time to start longer term projects, papers and problem sets early, well before they are due, so when something takes longer than expected you are not in a panic.
- Go to instructors’ office hours for tips, extra help, and to get a relationship going with a potential mentor. They have seen some common mistakes made by students in planning.
- Make a routine. Sticking to a routine helps you feel in control and to resist wasting time. For example, you want to join friends at a party or event on Thursday evening, but you say, “Sorry, I’ve scheduled time in tonight for my composition, but I can go to that movie night tomorrow!”
- Schedule sleep. This is number one for feeling good and capable. Be as consistent as possible with it to avoid oversleeping on your less busy days. This is difficult but experts say good sleep hygiene is important for thinking and performance. (Robert Stickgold, 1999).