Term has begun, and I don’t know about you lot, but after the long summer I needed to remind myself how to keep organised. Your time at uni can be one of the busiest periods of your life (says the girl with 8 contact hours), constantly juggling lectures, socialising, deadlines, society meetings, exercising, nights out and part time work. If you’re not on the ball, it’s easy to forget about plans, fall behind with work or double book your precious time. Whilst beginning-of-term-motivation is still running through your very veins, now is the perfect time to get yourself ON IT, so that you can fit into your life everything that uni has to offer.
Get yourself a diary
If you are yet to get yourself an academic year diary, hang your head in shame. A diary really is the fundamental tool of organisational goodness, so if you’re yet to have yours sorted then get yourself down to Paperchase, WH Smith’s or Ryman and immerse yourself in the pure thrill of new stationery. Purchasing a diary is only the first step however, to really make use of it you have to make sure it is always in your bag. There is no point being told ‘important dates for your diary’ by your tutor if said diary is sat on your desk at home with all the best intentions but achieving bugger all.
Put up a wall planner
Wall planners are like calenders, but better. With a wall planner you can see your whole year at a glance, so there is no danger of flipping over to the next month and realising, far too late, that you have a deadline on the 1st.
Keep a to-do list
Is there anything more satisfying than physically crossing something off your to-do list? Well news flash people, if you want to cross something off, you have to write it on in the first place. And then do it. Keep a little notepad or post-it note pad on your desk, and keep adding to it throughout the week. If you’re anything like me, just the act of writing what you have to do on paper will make you feel far more in control of your workload, and fight against feeling overwhelmed in periods of pressure.
Make the most of your phone
Phones are great for keeping organized, and I’ll bet, unlike your diary, you’re never without it. There are plenty of apps you can download to help keep you organised, or you can stick to your trusty calender, notes pages and task manager. If you forget about things even once you’ve written them down, notification reminders are perfect – although be prepared to have your phone buzz, wonder if it’s that nice boy from last night, then realise it’s just a notification for your dreaded dentist appointment.
Organize your work
This is mainly one for your future self. Do not let yourself get to revision period only to find that your folders (if you even have any) are a collection of random handouts, half written notes and out of order photocopies from who knows which book. Keeping your work organized is key from week one if you’re going to thank yourself when it comes to the end of the year. This means properly divided physical folders, logical sections for your computer documents and keeping all your notes titled, dated and filed. If you listen really carefully, you can sometimes hear your little voice from the future, saying ‘you absolute babe’, and sending a hug over the time waves…