In college, at the beinning of the semester, I'd gather all my course information, take my calendar and start writing down the dates of all the quizzes, labs, midterms, paper due dates and any other assignment dates. it took me awhile to fine tune my system, but I'd work backwards from there, breaking everyday into self assigned study time, then review time for tests, write down which afternoons to go to the library to search for data for this paper. This was when computer time was calculated in minutes, using punch cards and the computer center was open 24/7. getting into the library stacks to find books, then journals, making "xerox" copies of important articles, then dragging all that stuff across campus to my dorm.....
I decided to assign myself two-three study segments a day, depending on my scheduled classes. As I got better at refinements, by my junior year all my papers were done in plenty of time, sometimes as much as three days before the due date instead of trying to start preparation only a short time before the due date.
In my mid 40's, I had to answer 3 questionnaires, each at least 1/2 inch thick or more. After meeting with the diagnostician, he confirmed several diagnoses I already suspected I had. THEN he shocked me by saying,"Oh, you also have ADD, too". I met with a coach about managing my related issues. She asked how I'd one in college. Her jaw dropped at my GPA, so I explained my calendar method. Apparently, I'd figured out how to not only keep up, but had pre-dated the now standard advice for ADD'ers by breaking my assignments into manageable bits, that had kept me on track to complete everything and graduated with a very respectable 3.4 GPA.
For me, managing my time correctly was critical, but once I adapted to the system, I took great pleasure in making check marks next to each completed assignment, especially if it was finished ahead of time. by developing the system just to keep up, it then added to my motivation to improve and smoothly complete term papers, prep for exams, becoming both the carrot and the stick, making me work just that little bit harder to earn my own pat on the back.
For the ADD'ers out there, take heart. This does work to help you get focused on the subject at hand. If you loose track of what needs to be covered Monday, just check what you planned out at the beginning of the semester, trimester, or the 8 week online classes. It also can help any student get organized, although the younger ones obviously need parental assistance in making the assignments.
For those children and adults who never could figure out how everything seemed to come at them like a bowling ball at a strike every single day, this way of organizing should help the student stay in control of the both the ball and pins, rather than playing hit or miss as a pin. Success like that reinforces the method, which in turn enhances motivation.