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SPARK: Creating a Schedule

A resource for students wanting to improve their academic and research skills.

Creating a Schedule

Let’s begin by creating a weekly calendar that will ultimately assist you in organizing your time to get your academic work completed.

A personal weekly calendar outlines your fixed commitments and your flexible activities. You will customize it according to your lifestyle in order to help identify how much time you will have to prepare your assignments.

Begin now. Open and print the Weekly Schedule Template located in Resources.

  1. Block off your scheduled class times for the week. Use a different colour for classes to easily identify them. 
  2. Using a different colour, fill in any other pre-set commitments (e.g., part-time job, yoga class, study group meeting, travel time to and from school).
  3. Identify any additional activities that you need in order to stay balanced and healthy (e.g., exercise, hobbies, relaxation). Estimate the number of hours per day/week each of these requires and add them into your schedule.
  4. Now you can see where the gaps are in your schedule that you should fill in with independent study time. The rule of thumb we use is: for every hour you spend in class, you should be spending 2 hours outside of class for study time. For example, if you are taking four classes, you are spending 12 hours/week in the classroom. Times that by 2 and you should be allocating 24 hours of independent study time each week. Schedule this into your weekly calendar using a different colour. 
  5. Review a completed sample schedule below.

Sample Weekly Calendar

Weekly Calendar            
  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
7:30 a.m.              
8 a.m.           WORK  
9 a.m. ENGL 100 Study Time  ENGL 100 Study Time  ENGL 100 Yoga
10 a.m.        
:30 Study Time  Study Time  Study Time   
11 a.m. PHIL 100 PHIL 100  
12 p.m.    
:30 INDG 100   INDG 100   INDG 100    
1 p.m.        
:30   Study Time    Study Time      Study Time 
2 p.m.   Study Time  Study Time   
:30 Study Time   
3 p.m.  
4 p.m.            
5 p.m. WORK            
6 p.m.            
7 p.m. Book Club PSYC 101 Study Time       
8 p.m.      
9 p.m.            
10 p.m.              
11 p.m.              

Notice in the sample schedule the addition of pre-set commitments and personal activities.

  • Classes
  • Study Time
  • Work
  • Yoga
  • ​Book Club