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Daily and Weekly Planning

At the start of the week, try making a list of everything you hope to do that week. Is this realistic or is it too ambitious? To figure out what it's possible to achieve, and how to achieve it, you can do the following (click on the boxes to find out more):

1. Prioritise your tasks

2. Break down your tasks

3. Write a timetable

4. Self-assess your time

What's really important so that you must do it sometime? What's really urgent so that, if you do it, it should be now? Tasks which are both important and urgent should be at the top of your priority list; tasks which are neither should be at the bottom. You can use this document to help you with this.

Breaking down large tasks into smaller ones can make them feel more manageable, and can give you a more realistic idea about how long they will take. For example, if you need to write an essay, step 1 might be "read and make notes". This could be broken down into "a. find articles on DiscoverEd", "b. read and make notes on article 1", "c. brainstorm its relevant to my essay", "d. repeat with articles 2 and 3". You can read more about this in this blog.

3. Write a timetable. Based on your breakdown from step 2, how long do you think the important, urgent tasks (from step 1) will take you? Slot these into a weekly planner, followed by other less important and less urgent tasks. Make sure to also slot in times for rest, exercise, hobbies, and socialising. You may prefer to use an hour-by hour planner (download pdf; download excel doc) or a morning-afternoon-evening planner (download pdf; download word doc).

It's important to be honest and realistic about what you can achieve in a given length of time. Self-assessment can help with this. Over a couple of days, you may wish to note down what you intended to do (as in step 3) versus what actually did. If you didn't achieve what you intended, why was this? Were you over-ambitious? If so, you may need to schedule in more time for your tasks in future. Or perhaps unforeseen circumstances came up. Or maybe you were procrastinating and should work on staying focussed (see more below). You can use this document to help you with self-assessment.