Improve Your Time Management with These Three Tools

If you get into Harvard you can play on this foosball table or chill in these chairs, but only if you have time.

Study Skills Series: The first Monday of every month, we give timely, practical, and original study skills advice. Timely means it’s especially useful during that month of the school year. Practical means it’s easy to act on. Original means we wrote it ourselves and you can only get it here.

If you’re pretty sure you’re gonna get into Harvard but you’re still wondering whether you’ll have time to play on this foosball table once you get there, why not start practicing better time management now, so that you can have more time to do cool stuff?

Would it help to sketch out your weekly schedule every Sunday after dinner? Here’s a printable Weekly Schedule. You’re probably going to want to use a pencil. Be sure to schedule a sustainable number of weekly homework hours, one and two hours at a time.

Don’t ever do more than 60 minutes of work without a 5- or 10-minute break, and don’t ever do more than two hours in a row without taking half an hour off to do something that’s not schoolwork.

How about keeping track of all your big academic, sports, music, and activities stuff on one calendar that shows the whole academic quarter at a glance? Here’s a printable Quarter Calendar. You’re definitely going to want to use pencil for this one.

If you want straight As in the most efficient way possible, review every class every weekend or two, and keep track of which ones you review on which weekend days on the Quarter Calendar.

Maybe you’re happy with how you’re doing things, but you want to take on one more substantial activity this year. Where are you going to get the time? Figure it out with this To-Do List. It’s probably the best to-do list you’ve ever seen.

Fair warning: at this time of year most students aren’t doing much schoolwork. That might work for them, but that’s not you. You’re on a mission to get better grades in less time, so that you can have more time for foosball, computer science projects, or whatever else. Remember your mission!

However many homework hours you decide you should do per week, do them. No matter what anybody else is doing, or how much fun they’re having doing it, do your strategically determined number of homework hours every week, from Week 1 through the next-to-last week of the term, and cruise through finals.

Ready, go!

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