Prioritize your Goals

How to Plan and Prioritize Your Weekly Goalsstack-of-papers

Step 1: Look ahead

a) Look ahead 2 or 3 weeks to see what assignments are coming up.

b) If you have a major project due in that time, divide it into subtasks and plan to include some of those subtasks in your schedule for the upcoming week.

Step 2: Sort your activities for the week

a) Make a long list of all the things you should, want to, or have to do in the upcoming week. For example: Classes, labs, studying, commuting, paid employment, meals, sleeping, family, exercise, clubs, housework, shopping, appointments, relaxing, social life, volunteer work


b) Go through the long list and prioritize your goals for the week. You could code your goals according to the following system:

  • A – items have top priority – must do
  • B- items have medium priority – good but not essential
  • C- items have low priority – can survive without them

c) If you consider your academic work a full-time commitment, you should be giving priority to your studies, so going to class, studying, and working on assignments will be on your A list.

d) From your long list, make a short list of the A items and as many of the B items as you think you can manage.

e) Estimate the amount of time you think it will take to complete each item. (Remember that there are only 168 hours in a week!)

Step 3: Total your estimated times


Classes 15 hours
Studying 30 hours
Commuting 5 hours
Job 10 hours
Sleeping 55 hours
Meals 15 hours
Housework & Shopping 10 hours
Dentist apt. 2 hours
Fun / socializing 5 hours
Total 147 (out of 168 hours in a week!)

If you have tried to commit yourself to more hours of tasks than there is time in the week, go through the short list again and make changes. You may decide to drop one or more tasks or devote less time to some.


Tip Box

If you are taking a full course load and are working more than 15 hours/week, you may find yourself overextended.Eventually, something will give. Either your studies will suffer or your job will suffer or you will suffer burn out.

You have a choice – cut back on the number of hours you work or cut back on your course load. Be prepared to live with the consequences of your choice.