How To Be Organised: From The Least Organised Student in Existence.
Okay, slight exaggeration in the title there. I am most definitely not the least organised student in existence, but I am pretty damn unorganised. What can I say? I seem to have missed out on the immaculate time management gene. So for those of you who have unfortunately inherited a severe case of procrastination, or are simply struggling to get out of a long-term relationship with Netflix, I’ve devised some easy tips that should help, and that I intend to follow myself. At some point. Perhaps. Although, this is coming from the girl that wrote How To Revise: A-level Edition (which actually seemed to help a lot of people on here!) but didn’t follow most of her own advice *face palm* but that was then, and this is now, and the now includes a university degree. So it’s pretty serious stuff. Which is why a post to turn to when motivation levels are low is the perfect antidote to any 2000 word essay. Here’s how to stay organised you educational bunch.
#1 Invest in a notebook. Or Several.
Notebooks and lists are the perfect combination. They go together like Jolie & Pitt, Kylie Jenner & lip liner, the future you and your first class degree.
Notebooks are portable and give you plenty of blank space to clear your crammed head. Use them to note the mundane, the urgent, the deadlines, the wish lists, song lyrics you intend to Google - everything. Preferably have one for different things. I have one for deadlines, my weekly Tesco’s shop, French & Japanese, and another for my radio show playlist. I carry the most relevant ones around with me. It may sound like a lot of notebooks, but they make it easy to keep track of what I have done, intend to to, and need to do. All in one neat place. Much better than having random stick-it notes hanging around everywhere, scribbles on your hand, or plans lost in your iPhone notes. Plus, nothing beats the satisfaction of ticking off the things you’ve done. It can be very therapeutic when the stress kicks in.
#2 Make your plans visible.
Visible so you can’t runaway from them. This could include getting a whiteboard to stick on your wall with a To-Do list written on it, or a massive calendar so you know where and when to be that week. Make an effort to check your visible reminders so you never miss a meeting, a deadline or a catch-up. If it’s in your face every morning, you’ll start your day knowing exactly what needs to be done. A fool-proof way to ensure you don’t end up crying in a corner the night before a deadline.
Moments like this? A thing of the past.
#3 Do the most dreadful task first. And early.
There’s nothing quite like beating a deadline. Having your work completely finished, fact-checked and proof-read a week, or even a few days in advance is the most reassuring thing ever. A good trick is to set a personal deadline a day or two before the actual deadline. That way if you forget and start to panic, all is well, because you still have an extra two days to do it. Also, it’s pretty smart to put the most arduous task before the easy ones. You’ll thank yourself later.
#4 Give everything a home.
Give your books for the term a shelf. Your notes to read through a certified space on your desk, and any spare sheets you’ve seemed to amass a named folder. If everything has its place, in your moments of stress and frustration you can find comfort knowing where everything actually is.
Did you know you’re 80% less likely to lose things if they’ve got a designated place? I may have made that up, but it’s probably true. It makes sense to put things back right after you’ve used them, so you a) don’t make a mess and b) there’s no clean up if everything’s where it should be! That means more time dedicated to what you need to get out of the way.
“The best way to finish an unpleasant task
is to get started.”
A decluttered space definitely leads to a decluttered mind, so after reading this, if your study space is looking like it’s seen better days, give it a revamp. And preferably now. Not tomorrow, nor in an hour. There’s no time like the present.
And that brings us to #5: Now, is always the best time.
Never slack. Life waits for no man, and deadlines wait for no student. Can you imagine if we all decided to slack on shaving our armpits? (stick with the analogy here.) We’d all be surrounded by a lot more B.O. and our outfit choices would be extremely limited. Just like if you don’t stay on top of what you need to do, your life will slowly, but surely, spiral into an uncontrollable hairy mess. You’re given a task and you have free time? Get to it. What are you waiting for? Put your work first so you can have fun later. You’ll really pat yourself on the back when everyone’s stressing out whilst you chill and focus on the next task you’re faced with.
A really awesome video I found on the Youtube can be found here. It kinda resonated with me, so perhaps it’ll help you too. Always remember that you are the only one in control of your own success, so take responsibility, prioritise and follow every plan through. On time. With a positive attitude. It really is that simple!
Cheesy but oh so true.
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