How to Study, Part 2

Did you know that you’re better at certain things at different times of the day? You can improve your study skills by paying attention to the rhythms of your body. Follow Get-it-Done Guy’s tips to make scheduling work to your strengths.

Stever Robbins
4-minute read
Episode #247

A while back, I shared how to study tips for students returning to school. My friend Murgatroid (his real name has been changed to protect the innocent) went back to school and is immersed in studying. In fact, he’s so immersed in studying that he doesn’t have 10 free seconds. This is especially troublesome because I was visiting his city recently and he didn’t have time to meet me for coffee, much less Oreo Ice Cream Cake. Needless to say, my selfish desire to get together demands we return to the topic of helping students get more free time.

So how can busy students get a handle on their schedule?

Get a Calendar

If you’re a student in this day and age, you’ve never known the joys of an unstructured block of time. That’s good! It means you won’t spend your adult life yearning for the free days of your youth. You never had those free days.

Now that you’re becoming an adult, however, it’s time for you to take over managing your own calendar. Having a calendar lets you make sure you get things done on time and don’t overcommit.

You can use an online calendar or a paper calendar. If you get a paper calendar, I recommend a week-at-a-glance or month-at-a-glance. Day-at-a-glance calendars don’t give you enough of an overview to make sure you’re balancing out your time.

Next, put all your scheduling notes into your new calendar. If your mom still keeps your schedule, ask her to give it to you. Also, ask her to stop sleeping in your dorm room. It’s cramping your style. If you don’t believe me, then it’s really cramping your style. Check out this video of Modern Manners Guy on FOX with tips on how dropping kids off at college works. (Hint: It involves leaving them there).

Schedule Classes and Travel Time

Now enter your class schedule in your calendar. At most colleges, when you register for a class, you actually have to show up. So your classes represent uses of your time. Block them off.

What’s less obvious is that you need to block off travel time to and from your classes. If you live right next to the classroom buildings, travel time may just be a few minutes. When I was an undergrad at MIT, some students lived in fraternities across the river in Boston. Travel time can be 30–45 minutes to get to the main campus. If that’s your situation, put that into the schedule.


About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.