Summer brings the added scheduling challenges of work hours, summer school classes, sports practices and competitions, and, of course, expanded social opportunities. This is a terrific time to practice methods of time management. By finding a system that works well for you now, you will have a predetermined plan for handling short and long term homework assignments next fall. Start a SUMMER DATE BOOK that will mimic an assignment planner, but will be MUCH MORE FUN!
1. Get a calendar. This is like the assignment planner will be when school resumes, but make this one uber-friendly. A free pocket calendar can probably be acquired at your local bank, insurance agent, or card shop. You could use a small wall calendar provided it fits in the purse or backpack you will be carrying around for the summer. If you’re REALLY motivated, you could purchase a day planner with all the bells and whistles at Staples or Target. For those who are technically adept, a blackberry has a calendar option, or so I’m told.
2. Try a color coding system. A different color pen for the various activities can help differentiate between social and sports commitments, for example. You might try using colored dots (available at an office supply store or Walmart) to keep activity groups separate. Some moms use the color coding system to keep the family members’ appointments straight.
3. Enter routine daily or weekly obligations like class schedules and sports activities first. Your work schedule should go in next. These are the things you have little or no control over and must schedule around when making social arrangements.
4. If the daily spaces are large enough, enter related information like addresses or phone numbers along with appointment information. My personal book doesn’t provide enough space for this, so I use pages at the back for this important information. I also have a directory of phone numbers and email addresses for important people like students’ parents and tutors.
5. Get in the habit of entering new plans and appointments as soon as you make them. This is the practice which will be directly transferable to homework assignments next semester.
Have fun with your date book/day planer. Make it usable and refer to it regularly. Check your planner before making new dates. Select one with a cover design that matches your personality and play around with coding systems until you find one that works for you.