Task Analysis

We’ve survived the first day of classes, gone home, PUT ALL OUR DUE DATES IN A CALENDAR WHERE WE CAN SEE THEM IN ONE PLACE (yes, there is a reason this is
all in capital letters – because it’s important), and we’ve sat at our kitchen table with a healthy snack and made our study schedule. Now what? And the answer is not to make a dart board out of said schedule.

The answer my friends, as the title above might indicate, is analyzing our tasks. Now that you know WHEN you can study, you need to know WHAT you’re studying.


Day by day. Week by week. The semester will end. And managing your tasks week by week will make the road less daunting.

Take a look at the Weekly To Do List handout.

 Each box is a class. Write down all the tasks you need to complete that week for each class. Maybe it’s read Chapter 3. Do that online quiz. Talk to Ron and Hermione about that group project on the importance of time management

Remember to plan ahead. Just because something isn’t due that week, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be working on it. Maybe you have a paper due Monday. Be working on it the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday of the week before. No one ever got in trouble in university for working on projects ahead of time


Class 1: The History of Goldfish

• Read Chapter 2: Are they real pets?
• Review Chapter 1 notes
• Choose essay topic

Class 2: Classic Disney Films

• Find six sources for research essay on
“The Importance of Finding Nemo”
• Watch Cinderella and begin two-page
analysis on home cleanliness
• Read Chapter 6: Should Peter Pan
be Charged with Kidnapping?
• Rewrite class notes

There, that wasn’t so bad. Now you know exactly what you need to get accomplished each week for each class to stay on top of everything. Once you see what you need to do, you are less likely to forget a task. You don’t shop for groceries without a list. You can, but you’re more likely to forget something or buy the wrong kind of milk.

This same principle applies to your school work. Rather than all these tasks buzzing around your head – put it on paper. In your phone. Google calendars. A paper calendar. Anywhere you will see this list several times a day. It is hard to forget what you need to do when it’s right there.


Now we know WHAT we need to do (because we’ve filled out the Weekly To Do List) and we know WHEN we can do it (because we’ve filled out the Weekly Schedule), why don’t… and keep with me… why don’t we put the WHAT and the WHEN together.


“I will write my introductory paragraph on Saturday at 1:00,” is more likely to happen than “I will try to do it on the weekend.”

By filling your study time with specific tasks, you ensure there is enough time in the week to get it done.

Take a few minutes. Return to your kitchen table and healthy snack and do this. Begin the week organized, knowing when you will study and what you will study. You will feel prepared and calm. Feeling prepared and calm and is a great foundation for productivity.

It will be busy, but busy is doable!