Are you one of those students who are failing to organize your studies? Do you find it really difficult to maintain a study schedule? Don’t worry; you are no different than us. We all do. Every one of us is a procrastinator to some extent. Yet what defines our success and failure is how we discipline our life and adjust it with our laziness. One of the most crucial mistakes a student makes is not studying according to a specific schedule. So in this article, we will be going over to advise you on how to create a study schedule perfectly.
What is a study schedule?
A study schedule determines or defines when and what to study. It is made according to a person’s choice and also keeping some general rules in mind. (We are going to discuss them further in the article). A proper study schedule is like an invisible tutor to a student who helps guide a student in the right direction.
Why do I need to create a study schedule?
Making a study schedule is important for every student because it can help you stay organized and disciplined. Also, a study schedule is likely to reduce your stress because you don’t have to decide what to study every time you sit at your desk. Sometimes students procrastinate because they haven’t planned what to study.
You can use your study schedule to break the larger subjects into smaller topics. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to see a huge textbook. But once you break it down and put it into the schedule, it will feel very much doable.
A study schedule is also likely to keep you accountable and in check. Every time you see your schedule, you will feel that there is something important that you have to do rather than procrastinating. It will become your accountability partner. Students who do not have a study schedule are likely to procrastinate more. Also, when you finish a week according to the schedule, it will be more rewarding. This will help you to stay motivated in the long run and keep up your studying rhythm.
Some general rules of creating a study schedule:
You need to follow some common guidelines that most students do wrong. These mistakes cause an ineffective and harmful study schedule instead of helping. If you don’t have these in mind, you will likely do the same :
- Never study one single topic for more than 2 hours. You can tweak this timing but make sure you don’t study the same topic/subject for too long because it will make you bored and monotonous.
- Mix it up with different resources. Stop following only one method of studying but rather follow several methods of studying, including mind maps, video lectures, and flashcards.
- Depict the study plan distinctly. It would be best to write down the subject and time in your schedule and the topic you will study. Indistinct scheduling will harm your productivity.
- Know thyself. You should know about your strengths and weaknesses. Students like to study a topic in which they are already good at. But that is completely wrong and ineffective. It would be best to study topics/ subjects that you are weak in and focus more on.
- Timing is important. Many students try to cover up their procrastination by sacrificing their sleep. This is a really bad habit. We are likely to be most aware and alert in the morning after a good night’s sleep. So instead of studying late nights or scheduling for late nights, try to set up a schedule for studying in the morning.
- Your schedule is flexible. Although sticking to your schedule is really important, you should also keep in mind that it is flexible. If you have anything else important to do, like attending your friend’s birthday party, having a hangout, spending time with your family, then don’t feel guilty to bend the routine.
Tools for creating a study schedule:
The best thing for creating a schedule is pen and paper. When you write something yourself on paper, it creates a really good impression that helps you subconsciously to perform the task. But if you are a person that does not prefer pen and paper, you can try using your calendar and set reminders. You can also use apps like My study planner, My Homework, Notion, which can help you manage your schedules perfectly. (We will talk more on this later).
One of the key reasons you need to use a calendar or an app, or a planner is tracking your progress. Tracking your progress will help you stay inspired and help you level up your game.
Five steps to creating a study schedule
You should know that there is no ideal way to create a study plan. It solely depends on different individuals. But these six steps will properly guide you to creating a good study schedule.
Step 1: Analyzing your habits and learning style:
As I mentioned earlier, it is very important to know your strengths and weaknesses. Here are some questions you need to ask yourself.
- Which is the best time for me to study?
- Which time of the day am I occupied doing something else?
- Which study method works best for me?
- What materials do I need to gather for studying a certain topic, and how do I gather them?
If you have the answers to this question, keep them written somewhere because you will need them while preparing the schedule.
Step 2: Managing time
Now you have a life outside of your school, college life. You have your commitments, extracurricular activities, hobbies. Keeping all that in mind, try to sort out how much time you have left for studying in a week. Measure the time in hours. Ask yourself :
- How much quality uninterrupted time can I provide per week for my studying?
In case you think your self-studying time is quite less than necessary, it is time for prioritization. Although I recommend having different hobbies, there are some activities that you can just cut off from your schedule. They are not your priorities in life. You can also tag these activities as ” If time permits” and do them when you complete your daily studying milestone.
To know more about time management click here
Step 3: Time blocking
Now, this is an extremely crucial step, but very few students follow this. At the beginning of each semester, you are provided with a syllabus along with the dates of exams in the coming months. Keeping that in mind, sit down at your desk and calculate how much each topic in the syllabi will take to complete.
For example: If your Biology syllabus has five chapters in the next exam, calculate how much each chapter will take to finish. Some will be big and tough; others will be smaller and easier. If you get an idea about the syllabus initially, it will help you give focus to the harder chapters leaving the easier ones. This will also help you to create a better and more precise schedule.
Step 4: Making the Schedule
Making a schedule is not as easy a task as people think. It could be confusing because of the immense amount of syllabus and topics you have to cover. If you are making a schedule with a plain piece of paper, the easiest way is by making a table
- Draw a table having eight columns and five rows
- The seven columns are the seven days of the week and the four rows for specifying the weeks for a month.
- Write down the topics that you want to study in the box.
- Mention the exact time you are going to study.
- Don’t put your other commitments in your study routine. (This can be distracting)
Remember to keep the most important subject or the most complicated subject first and the easier ones later. If you fail to study a topic according to your schedule, reschedule it to another day.
If you are a person who likes to make a study schedule digitally, I would personally recommend you to use the notion app.
- Create a table
- Put properties “date” , “topic” ,
- Please put your Topic at the extreme left and select its different properties. They will be automatically selected, and you don’t have to worry about anything else.
- You can also view the table in calendar form.
- Don’t keep too many subjects. Two is recommended, but you can put more if you will.
Step 5: Sticking to the plan
If you ask me, then I would say this is the most difficult part of them all. It is not easy to maintain a schedule for longer periods. At one time or another, your schedule starts to crumble. The first piece of advice is to hang your study schedule somewhere accessible and easily visible. This is really important because if you keep your study schedule somewhere in a cluster of your books, it could get lost, and you will be back to your messy studying routine.
So make sure to remind yourself to maintain the schedule by keeping a lot of sticky notes on your desk. Write different sticky notes with inspirational messages and stick them near the study schedule. This action may help you to stay inspired now and then.
You might also want to have an accountability partner. If someone is watching over you, you are less likely to lose track of your schedule. This is not highly recommended because most people don’t want people poking on their personal lives. But you can give it a try !.
Apps that can help you to create a study schedule
We all know about google calendar, and we all have used them to some extent. This can be your friend in creating the perfect study schedule. One of the best things about it is that you can access it from any device at any time. Also, it is completely free, unlike most others apps on this list.
This is my personal favorite because I have been using Notion for storing a lot of things. Having a study schedule and sorting or filtering according to their topics, subjects, and dates is an amazing feature that helps me organize even the busiest of study schedules.
Trello is another app that is great for organizing any project or schedule through board systems. It is really simple to use and infinitely flexible. It is available for all devices, free with paid upgrades.
If you want one app solely designed to keep track of your school progress and study schedule, this is the one. You can track homework, assignments and organize your weekly study schedule. This calendar app was uniquely built for students, unlike Trello or Notion. A very good point of this app is that you can use it offline as well. And last but not the least, it is completely free. What else do you need?
Other scheduling apps include:
- Student Calendar
Every study schedule is perfect if it is implemented perfectly. Make sure to keep the rules in mind. Do not beat yourself up because the main objective of a study schedule is to make things easier, not harder. Studying in a schedule will help you to practice self-discipline and make you realize the importance of time.
Best of luck in creating a great study schedule.