If you don’t have a calendar on hand, here’s an easy way to figure out which months have 31 days and which have 30:
Count the months on your knuckles and the grooves between your knuckles. Leave out your thumb knuckle.
Every month that lands on a knuckle is 31 days, every month that lands on a groove between knuckles is 30 days (or 28 for February).
Starting with your forefinger’s knuckle:
1st knuckle: Jan (31 days)
Groove: Feb (28 or 30 days)
2nd knuckle: March (31 days)
Groove: April (30 days)
3rd Knuckle: May (31 days)
Groove: June (30 days)
4th Knuckle: July (31 days)
Returning to first knuckle (the forefinger, remember–skip the thumb knuckle)
1st Knuckle: August (31 days)
Groove: September (30 days)
2nd Knuckle: October (31 days)
Groove: November (30 days)
3rd Knuckle: December (31 days)
Instead of moving right to left by starting with your forefinger, you could also start with your pinkie’s knuckle and move left to right. Still works out the same.
Instead of using some elaborate organizing system, I stuck with a very basic pen and paper to-do list. My only organizing tool was a notepad where I wrote down all my assignments and their deadlines. I didn’t worry about doing any advance scheduling or prioritizing. I would simply scan the list to select the most pressing item which fit the time I had available. Then I’d complete it, and cross it off the list.
If I had a 10-hour term paper to write, I would do the whole thing at once instead of breaking it into smaller tasks. I’d usually do large projects on weekends. I’d go to the library in the morning, do the necessary research, and then go back to my dorm room and continue working until the final text was rolling off my printer. If I needed to take a break, I would take a break. It didn’t matter how big the project was supposed to be or how many weeks the professor allowed for it. Once I began an assignment, I would stay with it until it was 100% complete and ready to be turned in.
MARGARET THATCHER, a former British prime minister, reportedly got by on just four hours’ sleep a night. Such deprivation would trouble many people, and certainly the French, who sleep for nearly nine hours on average, according to a report by the OECD. True to stereotype, the French also spend the most time eating and drinking of OECD members—indeed, they eat for almost twice as long as the Americans. The Japanese appear to have a tough time of it, working by far the longest hours. However, they also devote less time to unpaid work such as household chores and childcare, activities that account for around one third of the OECD’s GDP.