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Best tips to prepare a personal school plan and follow-through

  • Who could have guessed when Benjamin Franklin said, "He who fails to plan, plans to fail," we'd be using his words to create an article about how to prepare a school plan. Time is a beautiful thing, right?

    You see, being a student is a chore. You have to make all those big choices between courses and financial budgets, friends, and social events, etc. Successfully handling your school activities, giving it your best shot, and making the most of your school learning calendar requires an extra effort.

    Since you are here, it means you want to understand in simple steps how you can go about your school activities (college or high), and follow well laid out steps for keeping tabs on assignments, projects, and other activities, and still achieve personal school goals.

    One way to get this going is by following a well laid out time structure. It doesn't have to be bogus, complex, spanning across pages, or too ambiguous so much that a seven-year-old cannot understand. A well laid out school plan will help you save tangible, usable hours and has a huge payoff when followed with discipline.

    When you follow the tips you are about to read in this article, you will be able to roll your sleeves and develop a personal school plan that works well and matches your personality.

    The plan you will have at the end of this guide will lead your school activities and ensure you meet your goals -- even non-curricular goals too!

    You are setting yourself up for success. Let's get started.

    THE GOOD GUYS PREPARE A SCHOOL PLAN

    Tips to develop your school schedule

    Did you know when you prepare a school plan, you save up to 4 hours that probably would be spent saying Hi to Bob on Snapchat and sharing pictures about how yesterday's party was a big hit? (hopefully, Bob gets to see them before they disappear).

    The following tips have not only proven to work after tests with different students; they are also tried and true methods for not spending hours sending messages that disappear into "forever land." Follow them and watch how you'd become better at managing your time and transform into an outstanding student. 

    1. Develop a smart schedule: yeah, old granny told you so. Good. But have you followed on old granny's advice? I guess not.

    A good school schedule is like a list of time segments. This could be hourly, or half an hour, or three-quarters of an hour. For every segment, there is an activity that goes in to fill it up.

    Creating a smart school schedule allows you to know and implement good time management skills for your school activities. You can also think of it as a timetable for everything you need to get done in school.

    For example, between 8:45 am to 9:30 am could be when you want to research on the nearly forgotten project your professor demands to see next Friday. Another 45 minutes on another day could be setting out your clothes and dusting your leather shoe for the next day.

    A schedule gives you a simple path to follow for your activities instead of beating about the bush on what to do. You could make a schedule that spans for seven days (a week) or up to a month.

    2. You need a study plan: in a survey by the University of the People (uopeople), 34.2% of graduates don't know how to study properly; 25% don't know any study skills.

    You don't want to be in any of the two categories.

    After scheduling a good portion of time for different activities, you need to decide which hours you'd study for different courses or topics. Your study plan is a smaller version of your smart school schedule.

    To build an effective study plan, you need to figure out your learning style. Does studying in the night time make you more productive? Are you a visual learner, or you learn faster when there's some music playing through headphones into your olfactory lobes.

    Or maybe, mnemonics suit you best. When you've figured out what works for you, the next best thing is to create a plan around it. It is also advisable to create a study plan that gives you space to read every day in a specific study area.

    3. Use time Batching: think of time batching as packing all the green eggs in one green basket, the blue eggs in one blue basket, and the more realistic brown eggs in one brown basket.

    The idea around time batching is that students achieve more when they can place similar activities within a specific period.

    For example, suppose you have a biology project, a biology assignment, and a chemistry experiment you need to work on. In that case, you will be more productive by setting a specific amount of time working on everything about your biology tasks first instead of going over the biology assignments first, then the chemistry experiment, before setting another time for the biology project.

    Of course, you could still hit your goals if you don't time batch, but the thing is, your brain is getting tossed up and down on a trampoline every time you don't.

    In his book "Deep Work," Cal Newport says time batching [causes] less mental clutter and means more resources are available for deep thinking.

    Time batching your school schedule activities helps you dedicate a specific amount of time to activities in a similar category.

    4. Find a mastermind group: while preparing your school plan is a sure bet to getting the most out of the school year, a mastermind group helps you hit those goals.

    Simply put, a mastermind group is a community of people who have similar school goals like you and would love to make the most of them. If you cannot find this community, an accountability partner is also a great option.

    Having people around you who are working towards the same goal inspires you to make the most of your school schedule.

    Habitica is a great habit-building app with real-life people who are also eager to set new habits or achieve their goals, that is if you prefer to go digital with your mastermind community. A newbie may need some minutes to get the hang of the website; after that, it should be a breeze.

    The better option would be to find a physical partner. We are more tempted to impress people we can see -- in this case, it is a good thing for us.  It's biology.

    5. Pay yourself with some benefits: there's this saying music people have, Good Boy, Deserves Favor Always. While that may tell them the first musical note in a music sheet, it means something different to us.

    The best way to stick to your school schedule is by giving yourself incentives for a good job. Disciplining yourself to get an activity done is not a child's play. So, giving yourself a good treat is not a bad idea.

    Let's say I have completed my fictional list of biology and chemistry tasks. I could watch a TV series on Netflix or go to bed and have a good nap.

    Define your incentive, and don't go near it until you can gladly say "mission accomplished."

    6. Set the biggest school goal for yourself: maybe this should have come first.

    You see, there is something setting a goal does to you. Aside from giving you an exact point to shoot at, it shows you how to shoot.

    Maybe that is too much of a graphic sentence. But you get the point.

    If you set a goal to achieve the best grades you've ever reached since getting into school, something stirs in you -- a need. That need fuels your desire to change your cycle, find an accountability group, create a smart schedule, prepare a school plan, time batch your activities and do whatever it will take to make your goal of crushing your grades happen.

    If you are already in your mid-school calendar by the time you are reading this article, it's not too late.

    Get a pen, write out your single academic goal. Afterward, break it into sections and smaller goals, then give yourself a timeframe for achieving those smaller goals.

    James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, has dedicated a page of his website to discuss how you could set better goals for yourself. Best of all, it's step by step!

    If you want to make the most of your activities and prepare a school plan, you will stick to good time management. Look back into each of the tips above and notice how each one depends on discipline to work.

    You must learn to set unimportant tasks aside and place what is important first, then make the important tasks disappear by getting them done. That's the only way you will have a working school schedule.

    Oh no! I just gave you my best tips for free too! Anyway, I'll be glad if you use them with all vigor and discipline. Have the best time creating a smart schedule and rocking your grades.

    Why not also check out these time management tips for increased exam performance.

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