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First, you need a study plan.
Without it, you’re kinda… screwed
No matter how you do it, whether using Shovel or some other online or paper study planner, you need a study plan. You need to get things out of your head, so that they don’t take up unnecessary computing power in your brain. Honestly, always thinking about what you have to do next and what you shouldn’t forget takes away attention from the thing you’re currently working on.
Students often tell me that they don’t want to take the time to set up their time and workload.
They say they already have a syllabus and that entering that information again into an app or paper planner takes too much time.
I’ve got news for you – you’re already doing a study plan – you just don’t know it. You’re doing it in your head and that’s not good.
Avoid the stress
You know that continuous stress you often feel in college? That’s because you keep everything in your head and that causes you to make mistakes. You thought you had time to get a task done and you were wrong. Now you have too much to do and not enough time. You weren’t planning, you were guessing.
If you found this site, it’s because planning in your head is not working out for you.
Seriously, are you really worried about spending a few hours of your precious time doing a plan?
You are already going to spend hundreds of hours doing hundreds of different tasks in a typical 14-15 week semester. You’ll spend more time making plans in your head than studying for exams.
You will have a mountain of readings, papers, projects, p-sets, quizzes, and exams. All of those tasks have to get done and with a high level of quality.
You have absolutely no idea how long those are going to take. Every day will be different in terms of the time you have and the time you need to get things done.
You are going to be continually distracted by friends and campus activities. If you are not in complete control of your time and workload, you’re going to get behind and find yourself struggling and stressed out early in the semester. Catching up is hard to do..
Shovel was created so you don’t try to manage this in your head.
You have to trust me when I tell you that NOT having a study plan will cost you endless more hours of wasted time and unnecessary stress.
I want to be loud and clear on this: a syllabus is NOT a study plan. They are not the same. A syllabus tells you what you have to do, but nothing about how long it’s going to take or if you have time to get it done by the date and time it is due.
Do It Week One.
Set up Shovel or your preferred study planner the first week of school. Week one is easy. You have fewer readings, classes often let out early, and no one is behind on their work yet Start as soon as you get access to each syllabus.
A typical syllabus usually only has about 50 to 75 specific things you’ll need to do. They consist of some combination of readings, quizzes, problem sets, a paper or project.
Many of those items are recurring and are quickly replicated across your semester in Shovel.
Depending on the size of the syllabus each can take as little as an hour or as up to a couple of hours to really go through and set up properly.
It is not only worth your time, it is essential to your efficiency, effectiveness, and your sanity.
Enough convincing. Let’s go manage your time.