• Shayna Sheinfeld, Ph.D.

Organizing your Time

This is the last in a series of posts about setting and accomplishing goals. Read about the steps of Looking back, recognizing and owning your worth, and developing a SMART plan.

Time organization is rather personal. There is no "one size fits all" for time organization. There are, however, techniques that work for everyone, such as backwards planning and regularly taking stock of your to-do list.

When planning for the semester, there are a few techniques that work across the board.

First, make a list of everything you want to accomplish. You can dream big here, so have fun writing down everything you want to accomplish. Your list might look like:

Second—and this one is harder—take your goals listed above and outline all the tasks you need to do in order to accomplish these goals. Breaking your goals into smaller, accomplishable goals will help you take active steps to reach these goals. Let's see how this will look using two examples from above:

Third, take your list of tasks and map them onto your time for the semester. Pull out that calendar and take the hour to make this happen. Be sure to stay aware of competing deadlines—especially in terms of grading and committee work. Also recognize that you will need to remain flexible as the semester goes on.

Fourth, execute your plan.

Last, make sure you establish support and accountability. A weekly writing accountability group or service is essential for accountability, especially if this is something you struggle with. Likewise a writing group that shares their writing on a regular basis can provide a kind of peer-review-before-peer-review, and a write-on-site, scheduled regularly or as a writing retreat (see below!), can offer a community in which to do the usually solitary task of writing.

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