Start with Paper
Take time to plot out your general weekly schedule on paper. Any paper is fine, or you can use a template like one posted on this handy web site. Based on our own experience in supporting student success, plus the guidance provided by the Federal Government through our accrediting agency, SACS, here are the five important items you need to add into each week of the term:
- Go to Raiderlink online. Find your “Concise Student Schedule,” which shows the start and end dates of each course, including weekly time and location. Add an appointment for each scheduled class session. Give the details you might need when out-and-about. For instance, if you’re running late, you could certainly use the instructor’s contact information so you could shoot a quick email saying you’ll be joining class in a few minutes.
- Add in one hour for every hour of course time … for preparation, reading, taking notes, preparing questions for class, etc. You might call this ‘ENGL 1301 Class Prep’ or something similar.
- Add in one additional hour for every hour of course time … for assessable work, homework, reports, blogging, comments, other assignments, group activities, etc. You might call this ‘ENGL 1301 Work’ or something similar.
- Add in your extra-curricular commitments … work, student organizations, volunteering, etc.
- Add in your personal responsibility commitments … regular workouts, meals, paying your bills, updating your calendar & task list every week, calls to mom, dating, etc.
Plug In the Paper
Go online at http://mail.ttu.edu and log in with your eRaider credentials.
- Take a moment to create appointments for one initial week and include the different items that you’ve created on paper.
- Use “recurring” appointments where you can to make your one week repeat through the rest of the semester.
- Use categories to color-code the five different types of information listed up above.
- Now go back to the “assessable work” category and change each individual entry to match up with an actual assignment that you know is needing your attention.
Add Your Favorite SmartPhone
Go to http://j.mp/techphonesetup and follow the tutorial to connect your phone with your TechMail account. Once it synchronizes you’ll be able to see the commitments that you created online … they’ll appear in your phone automatically.
Now you can use the information in your new handheld pocket calendar to make healthy, informed decisions about how will actually spend the limited time of each
day. You don’t have to say, “NO!” to every new opportunity, you just need to figure out what academic and extracurricular commitments will need to move around to accommodate every new item that you might want to add. Make sure not to plan EVERY moment … such an unhealthy practice can get overwhelming
… so leave room in the margins of your life for the life that will happen!
Use the tips in one (or more) of these three YouTube videos and put the advice to use … they’re focused on the desktop version of Outlook 2010 for business users, but the tips are the same as you’ll use with the web version. Oh and, because this is your full-time job, that makes you a business user, too.