Set Up Your Plan Day One
16 min read
“Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” – Jim Rohn
You know what you have to do. You know how long it’s going to take. The most important thing you can do now is take that information and make a plan with it. The plan isn’t complicated. It’s really just making sure that everything you have to do in all of your classes is in one central place.
You always want to know the answers to these questions:
- What do I have to do next?
- How much time will it take me to do it?
- Do I have enough time to get it done?
This is about how you know just that.
The biggest cause of stress in college is the feeling of being behind and not knowing whether you can get everything done. You’re constantly wondering what’s coming up and if you can get it done. You wait too long so you’re always playing catch up.
Students typically take four or five classes each semester with hundreds of tasks. Students try to manage this manually. They wait until the last minute to look at a syllabus and then try to juggle things in their heads. What do I do next? How many pages is it going to be? How long is it going to take? When do I have time? What should I do first? When is the latest I can start?
And you do that again and again and again, day after day after day.
That may not sound like a big deal, but when you do it a couple of hundred times, it’s a monumental waste of time.
It’s going to be a long semester. You’re going to invest hundreds of hours into studying. Before you do, reserve some time in advance to set up your study plan for the semester. It will save you multiples of hours later.
The goal is no surprises. You NEVER want to find out that you have something to do and not enough time to do it.
Set Up Every Syllabus Week One, Day One
We believe in setting up each and every syllabus as soon as you can get your hands on them. Get everything you have to do out of the syllabus and into Shovel BEFORE you start your semester. Yes, it takes a bit of time in the beginning, but it saves multiples of time later. More importantly, it will dramatically reduce or even eliminate the stress that comes from getting behind on your work.
It’s not hard to do. The first week of college is generally pretty easy. It’s orientation time. It’s syllabus week. You have fewer readings, classes often let out early, and no one is behind on their work yet.
So use that to your advantage. Spend some time in week one setting up your study plan, and you’ll save yourself a huge headache around midterms when everything gets crazy.
A typical syllabus usually has about 25 to 100 specific things you’ll need to do. With all of them in Shovel app, you’ll see exactly what task is due next for each and every class in one single list.
Yes, it will take a little time to set up, but it is the fastest way to plan out your semester in such detail. There is nothing else like it.
When you enter your syllabi into the Shovel app, every item from every class is fed into one single view that we call The Pile. Looking at The Pile is way faster and better than looking at each individual syllabus, for a whole lot of reasons.
Everything you have to do is organized by its due date and time. You can see exactly what’s coming up the next day, next week, or the next month for that matter. No need to find and look at four or five different syllabi. It’s easy to plan ahead when you can see everything in one view.
But this isn’t just a simple list of everything you have to do. It’s a sophisticated algorithm that knows exactly how much Study Time you have available to get each task done, at this current moment, taking into account the time it takes to finish each task before it. And it does the calculation continuously in real time. Try doing that just in your head!
The Pile doesn’t just show everything you have to do, but it also shows you the time you have and the time you need for each and every task, all in real time.
Know Your Time In Real Time
Here’s an example of how it works:
You have a paper due in a week. You need to work on it for 10 hours to get an A. Can you get it done? The Shovel app will tell you. It will scan your calendar and it will find out that between now and then you have 20 hours of total available Study Time. But then it will also notice that you have a quiz in two days that you need 2 hours to study for. It will also notice that you have some readings this week and they will take 6 hours to get done. So in the end, the Shovel app will tell you that you can only waste (20-2-6-10) = 2 hours of your available Study Time between now and then to get your A on the paper and get everything else done on time. That’s not a lot! You better get started.
Shovel shows you how much time you have, where you have it, how much you need, and the cushion of Study Time you can waste. Now that’s power! A college planner like never before.
So now you have a REAL plan. You know what you need to do. You’ll know how long it takes. You have everything in one place and in the right order. You know if you have enough time to get each item done taking into account every other item you have to get done.
You have the single most powerful study plan ever created.
Now it’s time to make sure you get each and every task done as efficiently and effectively as you can. We’re going to show you how to maximize your time, to remove distractions, increase your focus, and get the very best results with whatever time you have.
That starts now.
Knowing what you have to do is good, but knowing how long it’s going to take is better. The Shovel app is designed to do just that.
That’s right. The Shovel app compares the time you have in all available study time blocks with the time you need for each and every task you have to complete.
So you might be wondering how you can know how long things are going to take to do. I’ll show you how to do that next.
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