College students do a lot of assignments each week. I recently counted how many pages I will be writing this semester—about 125— it’s a lot of content.
It’s only doable because each assignment is small. But they can compound if you fall behind.
The problem is, staying ahead is exhausting. It requires you to keep track of everything, but if you miss anything, you’re in a bad place again. So how do you keep track of everything without giving yourself a terrible headache?
Make it visible.
By that, I mean put all your assignments in one place where you can see them. Use your syllabi. Writing them down takes an hour or two, but it will save time in the future.
Most students don’t keep their due dates in one place. This creates a problem where you have to look at every syllabus any time you want to see what’s due.
It doesn’t really matter what system you use—calendar, Kanban board, checklist—so long as you have a cohesive system. I find a mix of physical and digital calendar works for my current needs. I use a physical wall calendar for class due dates and a digital calendar for my non-class schedule.
Recently, I’ve been trying an app called Things. I want a way to track small tasks, but nothing seems to work as well as a Kanban Board does.
Here is an example of what I used for homeschool. But find what works for you and even if you find a good system—keep experimenting.
It can be hard to cut out the time to make a wall calendar—with so many seemingly more pressing tasks.
I couldn’t find time to make my calendar until three weeks into the semester. Without it, I was surprised by how much time I actually spent doing important tasks. More of my time was spent stressing about assignments, not doing them. When I made my tasks visible, I didn’t have to keep track in my head anymore. I could trust my calendar.
Putting everything in one place takes a small time commitment, but the time saved is exponential.
Try it. You might be surprised.