Since I am back at university now whilst also working and blogging I thought I’d write a post about how I’m staying organised. I absolutely love reading other people’s posts like this for different tips and tricks.
Two of the biggest things that help me to stay on top of everything are:
- Giving everything a place, it makes it so much easier to have a quick tidy and you won’t get overwhelmed with mess.
- Taking a day to myself. I have one day a week where I don’t work and I don’t do anything related to university. I now try and do all my uni work on weekdays, unless there is a deadline that I’m not on target for. Having a day to just slow down is so beneficial, it’s not healthy to be constantly busy!
Last semester at university didn’t go as well as I had hoped, I moved out the day before the semester began and I was travelling home for work whilst waiting on a transfer, so I knew beforehand it wasn’t going to be amazing. I didn’t have a single day off for 8 weeks! In a bid to get better grades this semester I have tried really hard to be organised. Currently I am studying; Economics, management and political concepts & theories, all of which are very time consuming.
The first thing I have done this year is to organise my planners. Personally I have three planners, each one has a purpose although it does seem excessive. I have an academic planner, a handbag sized diary and a bullet journal.
My academic planner is the one I reach for most whilst at uni. The first thing I do is write down all of my assignments dates. This allows me to see what ones are going to overlap and I can prepare some in advance to avoid clashes. I then write down the seminar topics / readings on the days I have classes.
The handbag sized diary is something that I always carry as it is so small and allows me to see when I am free to make plans. It helps me keep on top of everything especially if I’m asked to do overtime at work.
The third is my bullet journal, this doesn’t leave the house but is something I check & update each day. This is the most useful for all aspects of my life as it is where I plan my studying, my weekly goals and my blog posts. If you want to see my bullet journal set up you can find it here.
This year I have started trying to make the most time. It sounds strange but I commute to university about an hour each way and I was wasting so much time from endlessly scrolling through social media. I am lucky enough that my train is normally quiet and has tables so I have the ability to copy out my notes. the train is really busy and I don’t have the space to to write then I will read one of my textbooks. The other way I use this commute is to write a blog post, sometimes I just can’t get into the uni mindset and this is a nice break. Using this time for work instead of wasting it endlessly scrolling through social media gives me more time in the evening to relax. I would much rather be sitting on social media at home than copying out notes at 10pm.
The biggest tip I have learned through moving out and being at university is that if you plan for something to take and hour you should probably add another half hour to it. You will get bored reading textbooks, you will take a longer break than you realise and you will probably procrastinate a bit. Allowing for that extra time will help you be more productive and you will feel more motivated looking at a completed to do list. If you don’t allow for the extra time you will begin to fall behind your plan and it will be demotivating as you won’t get everything you wanted done.
For studying I keep a separate notebook for each subject at uni. Having a notebook for each subject allows me to keep all my notes in one place, I’m not searching through a notebook looking for part of a subject whilst another part is 20 pages away. I write out every single lecture for each subject as I just don’t retain information if I’ve only read it from a screen. Keeping each subject separate makes such a difference when it comes to revising as you can read through the subject the way it’s been taught with no interruptions. I’ve seen people at uni who just throw everything into the one notebook and if that works for then that’s great but personally that’s my idea of hell. Doing this also lets me swap out what I need to carry to uni each day.
Minus my day off I try to prepare everything the night before. I choose my outfit for the next day and put them on a hanger and place it on a little hook on the back of the bedroom door. I don’t waste any time in the morning trying to piece together an outfit and if I sleep in a little I’m not rushing around trying to find a sock or a belt. I then pack my bag for the next day, I only take the books I need to uni so my bag isn’t too heavy. After this I make my lunch and store it in the fridge, I even go as far as to have the tea bag sitting in my travel mug and have the kettle filled ready to go on. If I wake up on time I will boil the kettle and put my porridge in the microwave whilst I go for a shower. All of these littles things help so much because if I sleep in a little bit it doesn’t always mean I will be late.
The last tool I use to stay organised is a whiteboard. The way I use this varies, sometimes I will write up a weekly plan and other times I create daily to do lists. I like this as it can sit on my desk without cluttering it as I find I already have enough books around me without adding a planner to the pile.
I hope this was helpful to read and I am always on the look out for new tips. Let me know in the comments how you stay organised!