Why 79% of Timetables Fail and How You Can Make One that Doesn’t?
When you are motivated and is about to embark on the mission of cracking the toughest exam, there is a thought we all go through – “There is so much to study and I have no idea where to start from”. For the school & university exams, we start from the first lesson and proceed till the final one. For competitive exams, most often, we do not have time for this. So how should one begin?
The first step is to answer few questions in the exercise below
Q1. How many days do you have till the exam?
Q2. How many hours can you prepare in a day, based on a weekly average?
Q3. How many subjects do you have to learn?
Q4. How much time do you require for each subject?
On taking this exercise, you will get answers to first 3 questions, without breaking a sweat. Most of the students skipped the last question!
Now, that also answers one of the questions we have in the title, ‘Why 79% of time tables fail?’. It is because students do not spend time to analyse what is to be read.
How to analyse a book is another exercise. From now, you can also receive book analysis of bestsellers when you purchase from EduLanche.com.
Assuming you are done with book analysis, there are 5 basic elements that can make a time table actually work. As we begin, please keep in mind that your timetable is actually your success plan.
1. Have a Garuda (bird) drishti & Sarpa (snake) drishti
It is good to have a overview of how many months you will spend reading new content and how many months you will spend for revision. The bird view can be just one page and it is recommended to keep it minimal by skipping the details. Having a simple overview lets you remember it better and alter it when required.
Now, as you guessed, the snake view is about the immediate tasks you wish to complete. This works better when you can limit it to a month. Be specific about what you wish to learn each day.
2. Plan your lessons & not your time
As mentioned in the previous blog post, know what has to be covered and try to cover the same in the best time. Students often try to manage the time. It is to be remembered that the exams do not measure how much time you spent for learning. Instead they measure what you know. So, stop planning your time and start planning your lessons from must read (high yield) to must not read (low yield). This is better than filling your time with lessons and saying, “I studied throughout the day, but got a poor rank”.
3. Analyze your learning speed
This one is easy. Pick your favourite topic and try to read & memorize a couple of pages. Write down the time you took to read. Now, pick a subject that is not in your fav list and do the same. The average of this will be your learning speed. Now you know, how to arrive at how many hours you will need to cover a chapter.
4. Respect. Review. Reward.
Respect your time table. Without a time table you are swimming with the flow and with a time table you are on a high speed boat. If you don’t jump in and out of the boat now and then, you will start enjoying the ride before you know it.
Review if you are keeping up with the time table as you end each day. This will allow you to plan the next day and try to cover the missed topics. Remember, "what gets measured, gets improved” – Peter F Drucker
Each time you complete 1-4 hours of your time table successfully, treat yourself with something refreshing & healthy. A a short break, a walk in the open, a long sip from your water bottle or whatever you love to do. This will keep your brain excited about the next task in the line.
5. The Cheetah vs the Snail
It is better to have a simple and attainable time table as you begin. If you are an ace learner, you will tend to keep your goals high on most days. It is important to know, if you become a cheetah on some days you also become a snail on some days. Factor in 20% low productivity days in the first few months of your preparation and understand this is normal. Your productivity will increase as you get closer to the exams. If you wish to scale up, you can start off by keeping 20% of your study time unutilized in the first couple of months and by including 20% content above what you can actually cover in the subsequent months.
With a well drafted timetable covering the high yield topics, any exam is a walk in the park. Success happens in the mind first. That’s why we absolutely love a good success plan/timetable and you should too.
We would love to hear how you plan your timetable and how you try to keep up. Please drop your comments below.