ToDo List & Developing a Schedule
Calendar - Events
ToDo - Utilize Google Tasks
Daily Calendar - A budget for your TIME spent each day
News article - UNT takes initiative to keep students from dropping out...
Pastor David Brett (formerly of Christ Community Church) said "I remember what really matters to me..." in a sermon on 2/26/2012. That is funny he said that because this has been so much on my mind lately to try to help my students with.
Part of growing up is learning to get organized. Your success in high school, college and life will depend largely on how well you learn this lesson. The sooner you learn it, the better chance you will have at being successful with a high GPA and fewer dropped classes (saving you and/or your parents lots of money) and eventually in buying the things you want, like a car, a house or paying rent for an apartment or getting a job that will help in the purchase of the items that are a part of growing up.
Even outside of school, being organized is a means to be:
Relaxed - Nobody can handle TOO many things to do on "our mind". The idea that we have too much to do is in part of a factor of being overwhelmed with too much to do. The solution to this is writing down what you have to do. This frees the mind to focus on what is the highest priority. Ranking a ToDo list is one of the reasons why electronic devices have been so popular because they allow for dynamic adjustment of a ToDo list. For example, I have a kitchen sink drain pipe that is leaking very slightly right now. It is a MEDIUM priority because there are many other things in my life literally pulling at me a lot harder to do TODAY. Sadly, the item has been on my ToDo list since Christmas when I first noticed that the pipe has a very small leak. It is only a matter of time before it goes.
Productive/Successful - When you have to many things to do, sometimes, it is hard to do anything at all. By organizing and prioritizing, it allows you to put the other, less important items OUT OF YOUR MIND, allowing you to focus on what is really important.
"It is best to do things systematically since we are only human, and disorder is our worst enemy." Hesiod, 750 - 650 BCE AD, Greek oral poet.
Personal Testimony: When I was a freshman at Lamar, I attended a special pre-registration session where I was assigned a mentor/advisor who helped me plan my first semester. One of the classes they recommend was C&I 2101, for "Curriculum and Instruction College Planning". Seemed pretty basic...it was even a Pass/Fail class. But, during that class, I learned one of the most valuable skills I had learned up to that date, ever. And it was in how to be successful through Time-Management. My first semester was not particularly spectacular. I made an A in a Biology class, which was pretty exciting. But I made a B in English and a C in Collage Algebra. But I PASSED the C&I 2101. And with what I learned in that class, I set out the 2nd semester with a brand new schedule. I literally scheduled when I would turn on the TV to relax. I truly believe that because of that ONE class, I was able to make straight A for the next 9 semesters, helping me to make the deans list each semester and graduate Suma Cum Lade...highest of honors. Now, I don't profess to be particularly smart, and I am fundamentally disorganized. But, because of that class, I was able to get my act together enough to be successful in those classes. Now, if I could only have the same amount of discipline to do what I did back then in organizing my life right now, I would probably be a lot more successful right now.
Set up and subscribe to Class Calendar...see ToDo
Go to Drive.google.com
Click on APPS icon () and go to Calendar
On the left side, add WBPhotoMail@gmail.com
On your iPHONES, you can change your DEFAULT calendar to Google. After MANY years of calendar management, my personal experience is that it is better, with better continuity, to use Google Calendar than iCalendar. This is not a Apple vs. Android issue. It is just a matter that if you use iOS for calendar, you have less continuity across all of your devices. You are going to have to trust me on this just a little bit.
For Android, you already HAVE Google Calendar.
ToDo List - Start getting ORGANIZED...and FREE YOUR MIND!
Keep it Simple Shooters: The simplest is to take out a sheet of paper and start writing down what you have to do. I like to then put a number out to the side to show the order. In fact, since the most convenient electronic device, your cell phone, isn't allow to be used at school, the old Pen and Paper ToDo List is the best way to go. The best thing to use is the Pocket Pad I requested your get at the beginning of the year. In fact, MOST of my IMMEDIATE ToDo items STILL go on a piece of paper because it is just easier to manage. I keep longer term ToDo items and projects check lists online in iGoogle and/or iPhone.
Tips for hand written ToDo List:
But, it is easier to maintain a ToDo list on an iPhone or similar device. And after more than 20 years of searching, I have come up with a what I consider to be the best solution I have ever had after a LONG history of trying to "get organized".
The fact of the matter is that your SMARTPhone is MORE than just something to socialize with...it is a highly evolved PDA - Personal Digital Assistant. The term PDA was popularized by the Apple Newton, then the Palm Pilot that eventually became the Blackberry, that is now Android (simply put) has evolved into what you are using now. See iPad for more info
The App is free, and works perfectly with Google Tasks. In the App store, look for: Go Tasks. And it is available for both the iPad and iPhone. It syncs perfectly and very fast between all of your devices.
For a long time, I used an App called ANote as my ToDo list manager. It was an OK solution, which is why I have switched. Here are some screen shots of the app on my iPhone as of 2/8/2012. The first screen is the complete list. The 2nd and 3rd shots are expanded views of two of the items on the list. As you can see, it is far too complex to try to keep all of this on "the top of your head", so an app like this would help. Unfortunately, ANote is a $3.00 purchase, and NOT universal, which means if you want the iPhone and iPad version, you have to buy two Apps. And, there is NO Android equivalent.
ProDo - nearly as good as the iPhone GoTasks. They sync to the same cloud server with in your Google Docs account.
Creating a DAILY Calendar
A large part of being successful in accomplishing your daily goals is to write out a DAILY schedule, like a budget for your time. Granted, 8 hours is pretty fixed (your school day), but, if you look at the time remaining, plus your weekends, it is important that you map out exactly how that time is spent, or you will end up spending a LOT of time, not accomplishing much.
I liked this link I found: http://www.studygs.net/schedule/ It lets you plug in how much time you want to spend on any given activity.
But, you have to do MORE than just BUDGET how much time you are going to spend on various activities...plus, it changes from day to day, and occasionally, week to week. You need to actually write out the time line for the week.
As I mentioned in the college class I took, I had to write out a weekly schedule showing each hour of time. It may seem silly, especially when you have a defined activity for 8 hours of the day. But, even in your school day, there are pockets of time that can be mapped out. Like lunch. I know, you are teenager, you need to talk with your friends. Really? Think they will be around 6 months after you graduate? NOPE! Not a chance. Use your lunch to stay caught up in your classes...not people that are here today, gone tomorrow.
I would do your schedule in Google Docs...so it is easily accessible and modifiable.
Daily Calendar - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Av1TgV270uIadHdFdXN0a2NhdzVvaFlvdGRIWm5JQ2c - Open this up and save a copy to your own Google Docs, then modify it for yourself. It may take you a few minutes, and you do not have to keep yours the same...it is just a starting point.
Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People
1. Be proactive. Take responsibility for your life.
2. Begin with the end in mind. Define your mission and goals in life.
3. Put first things first. Prioritize, and do the most important things first.
4. Think win-win. Have an everyone-can-win attitude.
5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Listen to people sincerely.
6. Synergize - work together to achieve more.
7. Sharpen the saw. Renew yourself regularly.
Source: http://www.cornerstoneondemand.com/reference-guide-time-management-skills - Why Time Management and other good related info, including tips for those who don't like Time Management and Lists, etc.
Here are some other links to try out on the computer:
Bonus - Create and Print your own Calendar: http://www.vertex42.com/calendars/photo-calendar.html