It’s your first year of university, and everything has changed drastically; you’re away from home and making new friends – it’s easy to lose sight of what’s going on, what you need to accomplish, and when with so many things going on at once, from lectures to assignments, joining societies, and, obviously, hitting the clubs.
You’ve probably tried many times to convince yourself that “it can wait till tomorrow,” “I work better under pressure,” just to have it all go wrong. Haven’t we all?
But being organised is actually pretty simple to learn if you change up a few minor things in your life. Staying on top of things will save you a lot of worries, time, and money (time is money in the university world). So, without further ado, here are some organisational tips for first year.
Calendars free up a lot of mental space.
You might have everything arranged in a simple, visual style instead of using post-it notes or scraps of paper in your wallet to remember appointments, classes, or due dates.
Or, if you’re more of a screen-head, you might use a digital calendar with automatic reminders for your upcoming events.
Learning how to utilise a calendar effectively will significantly lower your stress levels – guaranteed! Nothing will catch you off guard if you’ve developed the practice of checking your diary every day and snatching it out to write a note whenever you have a new commitment.
If you’re unsure where to start with your calendar, here are a few key things we recommend popping in:
- Your class schedule
- Dates to remember from your curriculum (exams, term papers, etc.)
- Time to exercise (if you workout)
- Professor/tutor meetings
- Times of club/extracurricular meetings
- Your working hours (if you have a part-time job)
- Due dates for payments (credit card, rent, any other important expenses)
One of the key tips we can give you is to MAKE A LIST… or a mind map or a thought shower or whatever you want to call it. Just get it down on paper!
When you have a lot on your plate, it’s easy to forget things, and the most straightforward approach to prevent missing assignments or deadlines is to have them written down.
Making a list of everything you need to do in the following few days can be really beneficial. Simply construct a list of everything you need to do, whether it’s to write up some lecture notes, prepare a report, go grocery shopping, or do laundry. Also, there’s nothing quite like crossing something off a to-do list!
Transfer any unfinished tasks to the next day if you don’t manage to complete everything (although try to prevent this if possible, otherwise, your list will keep expanding and increasing).
Making a list also gets things out of your head and into the real world. Trust us, it’s easy to start feeling overwhelmed when everything is bouncing around your brain – writing things down can be incredibly helpful.
Find Your Routine
Being organised doesn’t just mean managing your own items but also maintaining self-control and consistency.
Developing a routine is a smart place to start if you want to stay organised. Hard decisions will become simpler if you stick to a schedule or develop habits that help you build a productive workflow.
It’s critical to establish your goals before creating a routine. Knowing why you started running in the morning or reminding yourself of the benefits of library studying will help you stick to your habit.
To summarise, create a tailored routine that meets your needs, supports your workflow, and encourages you to stick to it.
Last but not least, realise that getting worked up too much won’t help you.
Don’t be alarmed! Take a few deep breaths and begin by tackling one item at a time… start at the top and work your way down. You’ll be back on track in no time at all.