(The following was copied from notes I was given when I joined the Auburn faculty in 1993. It was attributed to Wehe 1968, but I don’t have more info about the author or which publication it was taken from…)

Seven Hints on Time Planning

Time is one measure of life wasted. Time saved is life saved. Effective use of time, like effective use of money, is one way to find more enjoyment and more success from our daily living. Each of us has at his command the same amount of time for each week – exactly 168 hours, no more, no less. Thus, it is not the amount of time, but WHAT YOU DO WITH YOUR TIME, that counts most.

The secret of more effective use of time and greater enjoyment of living lies in organizing and planning. Each person will, of course, plan his own 168 hours to harmonize with his unique requirements, inclinations, and interests. But there can be no doubt that wise planning for the use of your time will provide more time for those things you are interested in doing. Each thirty minutes saved through planning is time which can be used to make life richer and better.

Time planning is no magic formula. Its value depends upon study, thought, and effort. The plan suggested here can be a valuable asset to anyone who has the self-discipline to carry it through. To make it work for you, however, you cannot give up and quit after a half-hearted initial effort.

1.     1. Build your schedule around your fixed time commitments. Some activities have fixed time requirements and others are flexible. The most common which you must consider are: Fixed (eating, organizations, classes, church, employment) and Flexible (sleeping, study, recreation, personal grooming)

2.     2. Plan sufficient study time to do justice to each subject. Most college classes are planned to require about two hours of outside work per week per credit hour. By multiplying your credit load by two you can get a good idea of the time you should provide for studying. Of course, if you are a slow reader, or have other study deficiencies, you may need to plan more time in order to meet the competition from your classmates.

3.     3. Study at a regular time and in a regular place. Establishing habits of regularity in studying is extremely important. Knowing what you are going to study, and when saves a lot of time in making decisions, find necessary study materials, etc. Avoid generalizations in your schedule such as “study”. Commit yourself more definitely to “study history” or “study chemistry” at certain hours.

4.     4. Study as soon after class as possible. Check over lecture notes while they are still fresh in your mind. Start assignments while your memory of the assignment is still accurate. Remember, one hour of study immediately after class is probably better than two hours of study a few days later.

5.     5. Utilize odd hours for studying. Those scattered one or two hour free periods between classes are easily wasted. Using them for studying will result in free time for recreational activities later on.

6.     6. Study no more than two hours on any one course at one time. After studying for two hours, you begin to tire and your ability to concentrate decreases rapidly. To keep up your efficiency, take a break and then switch to studying another subject.

7.     7. Borrow time – don’t steal it. Whenever an unexpected activity arises that takes up time you had planned to use studying, decide immediately where you can trade for “free” time to make up the missed study time and adjust your schedule for that week.