Figuring out how to time block my college schedule was the most impactful thing I could have learned.
By scheduling my days ahead of time and putting everything I needed into a timeslot, my productivity skyrocketed.
Now, it took me a while to get ahold of this concept, but now that I do, I have a step-by-step plan that can help you plan every week.
It’s super easy. And taking the time to set it up now is the best decision you could make for the most productive semester yet.
*Setting this up only took me about an hour
How to Time Block Your College Schedule
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My entire schedule is made in google calendar, so pull that up on your computer and let’s get started.
1. Plug in your scheduled classes, labs, and work schedule ( + commute time)
*This example schedule is my best friend’s college schedule. She is a nursing student so it may look different than yours but the concept is still the same.
The easiest thing you can do right away is to plug in your already scheduled items. For example, you class schedule, labs, work schedule, club meetings, etc.
The cool thing about using Google Calendar is that you can have items repeat weekly. This way you don’t have to set this up every week.
Also, take advantage of color-coordinating everything. It makes it easier to navigate and it’s pretty. ?
Pick one color for your classes, another color for work, and one for drive/commute time. (I’ve included the color of each item I add in the next steps to help you out)
Put in commute time too. Give yourself enough time to walk across campus if you have too so you aren’t late.
2. Schedule when to eat and sleep! (purple and light brown)
Scheduling when you are going to eat may sound ridiculous, but trust me.
Have you ever just been studying all day that you skipped lunch completely but had to get running to another class?
The worst thing you can do in college is to be starving through a lecture. You’ll focus more on your stomach growling than your professor’s important lecture.
Schedule at least 30-minute time blocks for each meal of the day.
If you don’t have much time in the middle of the day for lunch, grab a protein bar or protein shake, plus some peanuts.
Something is better than nothing at all.
Next, plug in when you are going to sleep.
Now, I know scheduling sleep may sound crazy but hear me out, sleep is important!
I sound like your mom now don’t I..?
Anyway, if you go to sleep and wake up around the same time every day, you’ll rewire your brain and be ready to go to sleep early every night and wake up at the same time every morning.
Make sure you schedule enough sleep every night.
Most people can’t survive on 5 hours of sleep every night. You may think you can for a few nights but don’t make that a habit.
Most young adults need 6-8 hours of sleep every night. Here I’ve put about 7 to 7 1/2 hours.
*notice I didn’t schedule sleep for Saturday to Sunday. Use the weekend to catch up on sleep if you need it. Or hey, you are a college student. Spend Saturday night with friends or whatever you want. However, try not to sleep until noon on Sunday, you’ll regret it Monday morning. I promise you.
3. Schedule study/homework time for each class (dark green)
Many studies have said that you should study for 2 hours per credit taken.
So if you’re taking 16 credits, you should study close to 32 hours a week.
Yep, that’s right. Studying is basically a full-time job, but you wanna pass your classes don’t you??
Start with using a 2 hour per credit study schedule for the first few weeks of a new semester.
After a while, you’ll figure out which classes may need more study time and which wouldn’t require much, if at all, study time. Make adjustments then.
*take notice that I didn’t put any study time on the weekends or after dinner during the week. If you can help it, I recommend doing that. However some weeks will be harder than others. That’s why I try to keep my weekends open for overflow study time.
4. Schedule time for morning and evening routines (pink)
Your morning and evening routines don’t have to be that long.
Just schedule some time for you to slowly wake up and get mentally ready for the day; and also some time to wind down before bed.
5. Schedule some self-care time! (yellow)
This one is important!
You can’t just keep going and going and going all week. You’ll get run down really fast, I promise you.
If you don’t have that much time left, just plug in a 30-minute block at the end of each day to do whatever you want or feel like doing. I call it “Me Time”!
Self-care doesn’t have to be a bubble bath or spa day. You could read a book, watch an episode of your favorite show, or take a walk in the fresh air.
Just find something you enjoy to take your mind off of school. You can even make self-care apart of your evening routine.
Check out my other self-care related blog posts for more.
Review and revise your schedule in a few weeks
After the first 2-3 weeks of the semester are over, take some time to review your schedule and make sure everything is still working for you.
Maybe you need more time for a meal, or your commuting time is off.
Whatever it is, fix it.
I review my schedule every few weeks throughout the semester, too. This keeps me accountable for sticking to my schedule.
Things I didn’t mention:
Sometimes you can’t make it from meal to meal without getting hungry.
Keep some healthy snacks in your bag to munch on while you’re studying or in between classes.
Make sure the snacks will refuel you and not bog you down. Try some granola bars, peanuts, or pretzels.
Make sure you take breaks during your longer study periods. I like to do 5-minute breaks for every 25 minutes of studying.
Get up away from your desk for those 5 minutes and stop staring at the books and laptop.
Do some stretches, grab a snack, and have a quick dance party to keep that blood flowing
You probably noticed there are 15-30 minute blank spots throughout the calendar. I call that buffer time.
Sometimes you stay a little after class to chat with friends or ask your professor a question. Or maybe you just really need a break from school and want to call your mom quick.
Make sure you aren’t scheduling back-to-back blocks all day every day. It’ll be harder to stick to the schedule if you do that.
Try to set up this time blocked college schedule either before the semester starts, or during syllabus week, or during the weekend after syllabus week.
It may take a little bit to set up but it will save you so much time later on. You won’t waste time trying to figure out when to eat or what you should study at a given time.
This is the best tip I can give any college student when they say they are struggling with time management.
I hope this helps you have a successful semester as much as it has helped me.
Stay strong and study hard! You’ve got this!