Get back on track during Reading Week!

The most successful university students plan their time and prioritize their tasks effectively. Reading Week is a great opportunity to get back on track, push forward, and get ready to finish the semester strong. This worksheet is designed to assist you. If you need more help, check out the SASS site, learning and writing advice appointment booking, and SASS’s calendar of drop-in workshops.

 

Step 1: Goals

It’s important to set goals. They keep you motivated and on course, helping you avoid procrastination and falling behind. Write down 2-3 academic goals that you have for the remainder of this semester. They might be broad – average a certain GPA, get into a particular major – or very specific – do well in a particular assignment, improve a given skill. It’s important to be realistic in your goal-setting. What are manageable, achievable goals? Are they measurable (e.g. “I’ll get an A in POLS110” vs. “I want to do well in POLS100”)?

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Step 2: To Do List

Using your class syllabuses, brainstorm a list of assignments and other tasks (readings, quizzes, midterms, group projects etc.) you have coming up until the end of February. You might not use up all the spaces, or you might need more – that’s okay!

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Now add any other inflexible deadlines or important events you have coming up (family commitments, sports games, concerts – anything you absolutely must attend):

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Now, look back at the list of all the tasks you need to complete in the near future. Prioritize these tasks according to your major goals by writing the letters A-Z next to the list. Ask yourself how important a task is to achieving your goal – even if you know it’ll be easy to do, or even if an assignment is worth a lot in a particular course, it might be worth working on it after more important tasks. It’s all about what’s significant to you.

Step 3: Break Down those Tasks!

Log on to SASS’s online Assignment Calculator at sass.queensu.ca. Use it to break down those big tasks into smaller ones. Estimate the amount of time it will take to complete each task.

Now, using a weekly timetable (use an app or print a paper copy here), mark down when you will work on the most important tasks. Things to consider when making your schedule include:

  • Your brain works best in small bursts. Aim for 40 minutes to an hour on any particular task before taking a break.
  • Remember to schedule time for eating, sleep and fun activities that’ll help keep you healthy and your brain at its most productive.
  • Are there times of day when you work more effectively on boring or difficult tasks?
  • Schedule a couple of hours at the end of the week for catching up in case you need extra time on a particular task.

Step 4: What if…?

If you struggle with procrastination, focus, need advice on writing and reading more efficiently, or have fallen behind in a particular course, read about how to tackle these problems or book an appointment with a Learning Strategist; they’ll work with you to choose some appropriate strategies that’ll help you out!

Good luck!