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by Terry Thomas

This post is a great idea from Professor Terry Thomas. She is working to ensure that students learn not only course material in her class, but time management skills as well! So many students could benefit from this approach, that I thought it would be great to share it with all of our readers.

In this post, you’ll find a copy of an email that Professor Thomas sends to her students outlining a method of examining and scheduling their weekly work. Additionally, you’ll see links to copies of the documents that she shares with her students to support their time management efforts.

Professor Thomas has kindly offered these materials to ACC colleagues. You can feel free to adapt the email for your purposes and to send copies of the documents to your students. How do you feel about offering this type of support? Is it something you think would benefit YOUR students?

++Missi Patterson (Professor of Psychology / Assistant Dean of Faculty Development / Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning)

Dear Students – three of the most important skills in being successful in this course – and in college – are time management, focus, and discipline. You may have mastered these skills already, but if you haven’t, read on…

For those of you who’d like a little extra help in the area of time management, I’ve attached to this email a “Weekly Planner” form that you can use to set aside time for your courses, your job(s) and any other commitments that you might have in your busy lives.  Print it and make several copies – one for each week of the semester.

Then, fill in any time “slot” where you have a commitment.  For example, “block out” all the hours that you’re required to be at work.  Then, block out all the hours that you are in class.

Then, block out any other commitments you might have (volunteer work, babysitting, church, temple, SLEEP, etc.).

Finally, block out SPECIFIC days/times that you will use to work on your class(es) – time you’ll spend reading, doing homework, doing study questions, etc.  And treat these times just like you would a JOB – just as if you HAD to “show up” on that specific day/time for that course.

For example, you might block out (reserve) every Tuesday and Thursday 10 am to noon – to work on your History course.

Then MAKE SURE that you DO devote those times to History – as if it was a JOB and you HAD to be there.

By PLANNING ahead and reserving specific times for specific classes, you’ll better manage your time.

This exercise will also give you a very realistic accounting of how much time you DO or do NOT have – to devote to your classwork….and you may decide that you’ve taken on too much and you need to downsize your course schedule.

There are TWO versions of the Weekly Planner attached:  one is an Excel version that you can EDIT as you like and print or use online – and the other is a PDF version that you can simply print and fill in.

I hope you find the Weekly Planner helpful – and please feel free to stop by if you’d like some help with filling it out.

Have a great Holiday Weekend,

Dr. Thomas


PDF: Weekly Planner PDF


XLSX: Weekly Planner Excel Spreadsheet