Getting all that you need done takes some planning. Most people find that studying whenever you find the time simply doesn't work. Too often we don't find the time. To use the time you do have, begin planning when you will study, work, eat, sleep, and socialize, ahead of time. You'll find you have more time than you thought.

With this handout you will find a blank weekly schedule you may use for a weekly planner. View a sample weekly schedule to get an idea what it might look like filled in. Or use any personal planner you like. Many people find it useful to see the week all at once, rather than one day at a time.

  1. Enter the "given" time commitments which cannot change:
    • Classes, meetings, work, church, family commitments, practices, commute times. Note the time you plan to get up and when you plan to go to bed.
  2. Determine for the week how much study time you will need for each class.
    • Think about your study patterns to determine how long you want study blocks to be. Don't schedule more than 2 hours without a break.
    • Generally, you can plan on 2 to 3 hours of study per week per unit. A 3-unit course requires 6 to 9 hours of study per week. Be flexible-some weeks need more, others less, some classes need more or less or larger or smaller blocks of time.
    • Schedule in your study time for the week. Plan to study some each day. Avoid marathon sessions. Be specific. "Study history" or "Study chapter 10, history" instead of "study." Put your hardest or least enjoyable subjects at your prime times. (When are you most alert-morning? Evening? Before a meal?)
    • Write in flexible activities.
      • Meals, bathing, getting ready, laundry, shopping, cleaning, social times.
    • Schedule optional activities.
      • It is important to include "me" time to keep a balance. This includes exercise, time with friends, television time, a trip to the coffee shop, attending a sports event or concert. It may even include a nap!
    • Mark important days or times, preferably in color
      • Highlight days you have assignments due or on which you have tests or quizzes.
    • Keep updating your schedule throughout the week.
    • Stick to your schedule.
      • Consult it often and commit to following it.
      • If it isn't working, revise it.

      When you are done with your weekly schedule, look for open spaces, or too-tightly scheduled spaces, and adjust where you can. You may wish to schedule additional study or even sleep time in the blanks. Do try to leave some blank spaces to use for things that come up or studies that take longer than you anticipate.