All of us have done it, even knowing how important an event is; a test, a meeting, a date. We wait until the last minute, then wonder why everything doesn’t work as smoothly as we had expected. The otherwise easy and simple experience becomes a stressful, tense event.
Planning is the first defense against being late. Preparation is key in life, as the more prepared you are, the better you can respond, regardless of how stressful and intense a situation is. People who are the most successful do not stop practicing, and don’t abandon their schedule because they have reached their first goal, and the same commitment applies to academics. There are several techniques that you can use to help you in your planning and preparation.
Take time at the end of each day to make a plan
If you spend 10 minutes to think of the upcoming day, you reinforce the importance of your upcoming goals and tasks in your mind. Be sure to document these plans as well, so you can refer to them during the day, in the event you stray from your goals.
Use a planner or agenda and refer to it regularly
The best plans, and most efficient schedules are useless if they are not used. When you plan at the end of the day, organizing your goals and tasks in an agenda or planner will make them easier to refer to during the upcoming day. That way you will be more aware of your time constraints.
Prioritize, what is really important now and what is important later.
Make sure you divide the tasks at hand into immediate concerns, and long-term tasks. This prioritizing ensures you can focus on the most important activities sooner, while still being aware of non-immediate concerns.
The importance of a system for prioritizing and organizing cannot be stressed enough. A simple day-planner will get you started with the process. As time passes you can also find more advanced priority management systems to suit your needs.