Organize Your Time

There are only 168 hours in a week.  How do the busiest people always seem to get so much accomplished?  The answer is prioritization and organization!  Students should seek an organizational method that works for them.

1) How many hours should you study each week?  You should invest a minimum of 2 hours of study time outside of class for each hour in class.  (See the Note below.)  Achieving this ratio is challenging, but it can be done.

2) How can you organize your time to accomplish this 2:1 studying time ratio?  Be honest with yourself and find a method that works for you.  Regularly think about what is working and not working for your weekly schedule.  Here are options for organizing your time:

  • Option A - Establish a weekly schedule.  Make a copy of this sample Google Sheet template of a recent Notre Dame student’s weekly schedule to see how you can budget your time for attending class, studying, leisure, and sleeping/eating.  Adjust your weekly routine as you evaluate what works.
  • Option B - Use Google Calendar. - Every Notre Dame student has access to Google Calendar - the official calendaring system for the University.  Google Calendar can be used to organize all of your time in one place enabling you to schedule class times, study time, assignment due dates, personal life, work commitments, and everything in between.  It is also possible to link Canvas calendar items to your Google Calendar.  You can view a student’s sample color-coded Google Calendar here.  Please check the OIT Google Calendar website for tips and recommendations.
  • Option C - Use a printed calendar. -  Although it may seem "old fashioned," some students prefer to use a printed weekly or monthly planner.  In a planner, you can summarize examination dates, project deadlines, and dues dates for papers.  There are planners available at the Notre Dame Bookstore and in a lot of different online stores.  If you would like help finding a calendar, please contact your academic advisor.
  • Option D - Use a Weekly Planner Sheet for the semester. - Make a copy of this Weekly Planner Google Sheet for the Fall 2023 semester.  Use his grid to insert information from the syllabus for each course for examination dates, project deadlines, and due dates for papers.  This helps you to plan ahead, budget your time appropriately each week, and avoid being surprised by deadlines.


Note: This studying time ratio comes from the U.S. Department of Education which defines one semester credit hour as a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work for each hour in class.  See Code of Federal Regulations: Title 34, Subtitle B, Chapter VI, Part 600, Subpart A, § 600.2 which is available online at