Organisation and preparation are so important, not just at university but throughout your life as well.
Juggling, uni work, social life, societies, sporting commitments, a part time job and whatever else you have going on in your life can be difficult. The better your organisation, the more time you have, the less stressed you’ll be, and you can even save yourself money too.
“Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”
Here are some tips to help you get and remain organised at university.
To Do Lists
Lists are my all time favourite. The best thing about a ‘to do’ list is crossing them off once you have completed a task. I personally have a weekly ‘to do’ list which I usually write on Sunday night, and add to it during the week. I highlight the stuff which is high priority so I know what needs to be done first. However, I know a lot of people like daily ‘to do’ lists either instead of, or as well as, the weekly list. If I have a super busy schedule, then this is when I will transfer over to a daily list. Just find what kind of list works for you and roll with it.
Get a Diary
Personally, I have my uni calendar on my phone so I can always see what time lectures and seminars are on the go, and then I have my physical diary where I write other things such as birthdays, meeting friends, deadlines etc. Not sure why I split them in two, but this is what works for me. Make sure you have a diary of some sort (would definitely recommend a physical diary though) to make sure you are on top of everything. Get into the habit of taking it everywhere with you so you don’t double book!
Another option could be to combine the diary and the to do lists. If you get a day-view diary then you could put your to do lists and tasks on each day of the diary. The world is really your oyster, just make sure you find something that works for you.
Learn to Say ‘No’
This is something I really struggle with, and I end up super busy and spread myself too thin. Learn how much you can take on and what your limits are. If you feel like you are reaching your limits you need to learn to say no and perhaps cut down on one of the things which is taking up so much time (except uni work).
Learning to prioritise also comes into this. If you have a lot on and are feeling stressed about uni work then it is okay to be selfish and say no if you are asked to work extra hours at your part time job, or not go out with friends on one occasion. The more stressed you are the more of an impact it will have on your body and mind, and the less productive you will become.
Meal planning and batch cooking is a great way to save time and money on deciding what’s for dinner. I would usually do a massive shop and then spend a day or so cooking about 3 or 4 meals, portioning them up into tupperware and freezing them. Although this is a whole day pretty much taken up, during the week you’ll be able to dedicate more time to the more important tasks.
Meal preparation also forces you to write a shopping list out and think about what you are shopping for when you head to the supermarket. This will save you a lot of money over time.
Invest in a Key Basket/Tray
I don’t know about you but in first year I would get all ready to leave for a lecture or night out and I wouldn’t be able to find my keys, phone, wallet etc. I would then waste my time tearing my room apart so it looked like a bomb had hit. Then I invested in a key basket and got into the habit of dumping my keys and wallet into the basket whenever I walked through the door. This way I knew they’d be in the same place each time. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, but just get yourself one!
Get Your Beauty Sleep
Not much to say around this, other than do not underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep and a regular sleep schedule.