Your personal crystal ball
Shovel warns you if you won’t have enough time to finish a task. Months in advance.
Prevent problems by seeing them ahead of time
Wouldn’t it be cool to see into the future?!
We call it the Cushion and that’s exactly what it does. Your Cushion is the difference between the Study Time you HAVE available and the time you NEED to get a task done, taking tasks before it into consideration.
For example: If you HAVE 10 hours of available Study Time between now and when an assignment is due, and you NEED 6 hours to get it done, your Cushion on that assignment is:
10 – 6 = 4 hours
But if there is a 2-hour task due before the assignment, the Cushion time on the assignment is only:
10 – 2 – 6 = 2 hours
That means that between now and then, you can only afford to waste 2 hours of your available Study Time.
Shovel does this for every single task in your entire semester, so it can see your problematic tasks way ahead of time. The cushion is represented as a number next to each task on your pile page, but also as a graph (image below) that has every single task on it and you can easily look into the future.
Only relevant time counts
The day you plan to start on a task matters
Shovel only calculates your available Study Time for a task based on when you set “how many days ahead you want to get started” on that specific task.
Shovel will warn you if you don’t have enough time to finish your task in the number of days you selected and will advise you to start working on it earlier. Think about it. It wouldn’t make sense to accumulate all the available Study Time between now and a test that is 2 months away if you only plan to study for it 7 days before you have to take it.
Many ways to adjust
Don’t panic if your cushion is negative
A negative cushion means that you don’t have enough Study Time to finish a certain task. When you see that, you can make adjustments to your schedule to create more Study Time.
There are multiple ways to increase the Cushion time on a task:
- Setting an earlier start date. For example, if you set that you’ll get started on a task 3 days and not 2 days ahead, there is a chance that there is available Study Time in the extra day and hence you will have more Study Time to get the task done.
- Completing tasks which will give you more time for future tasks.
- Changing the time a task will take you to do
- Decreasing the “minimum study time block” in your Study Timetable which will increase your Study Time every week as you’ll use smaller time blocks for studying.
- Changing your weekly schedule
- Adjusting your calendar on specific days. For example, deleting Me Time on one Saturday night because you need to get more studying done during midterms. When you delete Me Time or any other event from your calendar, it will automatically become Study Time and it will be added to the time calculations and your Cushion will get a bump.
Shovel is very flexible and it always shows you if your current study schedule is working out, or if you need to adjust it. And it all happens in real time!