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Academic Mentoring Resources: Calendars & Productivity

Calendars & Productivity

How Can I Be More Productive With Limited Time?

Beginning with the end in mind, create a long-term plan to meet your objectives.

  • Download "Semester Calendar."
  • Place all your major events in each life domain on your plan, including all assignments as well as personal, vocation, spiritual and social events.
  • List all assignments and academic responsibilities for each course. Reference the course calendar at the back of the syllabus.
  • Color-code the assignments, designating a different color for each course or for each type of assignment.
  • Consider setting short-term goals for large projects and papers (i.e., give yourself a deadline to complete the thesis and outline for the final paper a few weeks in advance).
  • For those courses that have assignments due on a weekly basis (i.e., every Sunday); break up the tasks throughout the week.
  • Keep the calendar at a location that you will often reference.

Laying out your long-term plan gives you a bird's eye view to take control of your deadlines. In turn, this gives you an ideal perspective to evaluate what you might need to add or subtract in order to accomplish the most important things.

How Can I Not Procrastinate?

The next step is to plan for your individual weeks. The Ideal Week gives you a reproducible structure for each week. The goal of this schedule is to display all of your commitments and drive you to plan scheduled study times. Scheduling the study times and knowing exactly what you'll be doing each week and exactly when you'll be doing it is perhaps the best way to combat procrastination. Scheduling plenty of study time each week ensures that you will always have enough time to complete your tasks week in and week out.

  • Download "Ideal Weekly Calendar." 
  • Incorporate your personal habits and professional goals
  • Block off recurring events
  • Color-code, if helpful
  • Visualize your time and energy in a typical week

How Can I Avoid Burnout?

Think of a time when you were stressed. How did your physical body respond? Our bodies take on the unhealthy stress which can disrupt our rhythms. For example, it could make sleeping at night or resting our mental energy incredibly difficult. However, stress is much more like a guitar string. A balance of good stress/tension and good rest/loosening can produce the appropriate pitch and beautiful sound. In the same way, God's design is for us to live within a rhythm (Ecc. 3:1-8). When we are able to balance "good stress" with "good rest," then we are able to maximize our productivity and avoid burnout.

Calendars & Productivity Tip

This is how you'll fight procrastination, and be productive:

  1. Fill out the Semester Calendar to create a long-range plan.

  2. Fill out the Ideal Weekly Calendar to mange your weekly commitments.

  3. Fill out Daily Focus Planner to maximize your time.

This may seem like a waste of time, but you're actually investing a little bit of time to gain more time later.

How Can I Focus Better?

In order to focus better everyday, click here to learn about Priorities & Values.