Yes, Planning Works!

How to Think About and Use a Weekly Planner

Many students don't want to plan their week because they say "I've made plans before, but I didn't follow them. Planning doesn't work."
Well, let's do a thought experiment, and see how you think about planning afterward.
Not just any old planning, but planning out your week on the McGraw Weekly Schedule.
Go ahead and click on the link and take a look at the McGraw Weekly Schedule. I'll wait.
Imagine it's a Sunday. Imagine you fill out the weekly planning template. Specifically, you:
  1. Print it.
  2. Block in your classes and other standing commitments, thus personalizing it.
  3. Take a sheet, date each day along the top, open your syllabi, and write in when you will get started on a problem set, or work on the outline for your paper(s).
  4. Plug in one fun thing on Saturday, and one fun thing on Sunday. Highlight them.
Now, imagine you are looking at your completed planner.
  • How do you feel - less focused, or more focused?
  • How likely are you to remember your tasks and events-less likely, or more likely?
Now, imagine you kept your planner on your desk all week. Where it stares you in the face every day!
  • Compared to no planner, when do you start tasks-sooner, or later?
  • If you don't do something you planned for on Monday, when do you get around to it - sooner, or later?
Let's say you check off each thing you do with a colorful pen. And you keep glancing at the fun weekend.
  • Compared to no planner, how do you feel - more motivated, or less motivated?
  • How accomplished do you feel - more or less?
I bet after reading this, you can agree that planner > no planner.
Not because you follow it 100% (nobody does), but because you can use it to keep your tasks front and center, get to them sooner, and enjoy the process more-all of which leads to getting more done.

So, when are you going to print out your weekly planner and follow the steps above?