How Not To Go Crazy

After seeing where your time goes, and after working out a structure to your day, now you are ready to make out a schedule.

Don't reinvent the wheel

The structure of your day has taken care of most of your schedule.  For example, you have algebra, English, etc. at the same time every day.

If you do athletics from 3:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. every Monday through Friday, your schedule is already done for those hours.

Write down appointment

You will need a small appointment book. (If you like the computer, on yahoo.com calendars you can personalize your own)  If you have promised to meet a teacher at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning for a makeup test, write that down.  If you have a date with your dream on Friday night, write that down.

Always write your appointments in pencil so you can easily erase changes.

Stealth appointments

However, all appointments are not with teachers or girlfriends.

If you have a test next Friday in English, that is an appointment you need to write down in your appointment book.  You need to be able to look at the appointment book and see in a glance important dates coming up.

You also need to make some appointments with your self on when to start certain projects.  More and more you will be expected to work on your on.  Your assignment sheet may merely announce that a novel is due on a certain date.  If you don't make an appointment with yourself to start reading, you will be overwhelmed.

It may not be fair to have three exams and a book review all due on the same day, but life is like that.  By looking ahead, you can stay in control of your life.

Your structure schedule is fixed.  Now all you need to keep up with is appointments.

Leave a margin of error

You don't want to try to use every second.  That will drive you crazy.  If you structured your day realistically, you left time to get home from football practice and have dinner before you structured in your learning time (study time).

If you cut it too close, you will become frantic, frustrated, or both.  Things will go wrong.  You might have to work in a quick errand (like picking up some paper).

Always leave a margin of error.  Plan to finish a day or two earlier than the deadline.  Then, if you miscalculate or something goes wrong, you have some breathing room.

And so . . . 

Your time diary helped you be realistic about where your time goes and how long it takes to do certain tasks.  Anytime your schedule isn't working, keep a time diary for a week and see what is really happening.

Your structure schedule helps you know where you are so you can be flexible without letting time get away from you.  You may have to revise your structure schedule from time to time as your work mix changes.

By comparing your structure and your appointments, you can see exactly what is coming up and leave yourself time to start.  Remember to leave a margin of error.  Things will go wrong.

(C) 2001, Don Mize


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