6 Sep 2015

How To Be More Organised

Something that I take pride in is how organised I am. I can count on one hand all the times I've forgotten to take something to uni, not been up to date on readings or lectures or not known what was expected of me. Organisation does take effort - you can't just will planners and lists into existence (not yet, anyway). I recently sat down and made a note of my organisational habits that I think help me the most so that they can hopefully help you out, too!

Make time to plan - One of the things that I do is sit down at the start of each semester of uni and write down everything I will need to do over the following few months. This includes making a list of all my readings in a place I can easily find it, noting down all the dates of my assessments and making folders for all my resources for each unit. This can be a tedious and time consuming process, but I know that it will help me further down the line, so taking some time to get it out of the way is definitely worth it. If you're not a uni student, you can do a similar thing at the beginning of the school term, or even at the beginning of every month, if you so desire.

Keep your calendar up to date - I make regular use of the calendar on my Mac because it's so easy to scroll through and you can put any number of events on any given day. As I said above, I put all my assessment due dates and times in my calendar at the start of semester, but new things inevitably crop up after doing this. Make an effort to add in anything new as soon as you can after finding out about it, so it's still fresh in your memory - whether it be a new piece of work or a social event. That way, flipping forward a few weeks should give you a realistic idea about your workload and how to go about getting things done and when.

Make constant to-do lists - I keep two different checklists running all the time (digitally, so I never run out of paper). One of them contains all the upcoming things I have to get done, while the other serves as a daily list. I jot down things as simple as washing my hair, just so I know I've not missed out on anything and I have an idea of how much I have to do that day. I even include things like the book I'm reading or show I'm watching, which sounds a little crazy, but it serves as a reminder to take some time out and do the things that I like.

Try a day planner - Whenever my life gets a little messy and stressful, I take to writing out daily planners. The night before, I write out the times of the day and the things I want to get done, allocating blocks of time to each thing as I go. You don't have to include everything, but I find that pinpointing a specific time to do something helps me to buckle down and start doing it. Sticking with daily planners can sometimes feel a bit strict and become stressful in themselves, so remember to just do what you feel comfortable with!

Be flexible - Sometimes you add too many things to your to-do list to get done in one day, or you feel too tired or ill to continue and you just want to go to bed. Don't be too hard on yourself when this does happen. That's just life! The longer you keep up the organisation, the less things you'll have left till the last minute, so pushing a few items into the next day shouldn't be an issue. Also remember to take some time out or reward yourself when you get through a big day. Being organised doesn't mean constantly being busy trying to shuffle things into order, it's mostly just about a clear state of mind and knowing you're on top of things.

I hope that you found these few tips helpful in some way. Feel free to let me know in the comments!


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