7 tips for disorganised students
We’re all envious of those people in the library, appearing so on top of every piece of work and every task that comes their way. They have their neat piles of notes sorted perfectly into colour coordinated folders and an aura of “togetherness.” If you’re like me, however, who would happily write their lecture notes on a scrap of tissue found at the bottom of my bag, it’s hard to envisage how to become such an organised person. With these tips, you should be on your way loosing your name as disorganised students.
1) Buy a calendar
Being able to visualise your assessments, weekend plans, nights out, socials, you name it, is really important for planning your work load. You may have the date “13th March” fixed in your head as your essay deadline, but only a calendar will force you to realise that it’s only a week away. The first thing you should write on your calendar is every assessment that you know has a fixed date. Next, you can add in lesser plans for things like societies or if you have a part time job. Pick up an arty and coolly designed calendar and your mount of deadlines will seem less depressing! Likewise, online there are handy printable calendars and day planners such as these.
2) Keep your work in folders
Students all too often keep their work in disorganised piles, mixing together different modules and even different subjects. When it comes to revision, you’ll have so many regrets. No matter how late on in the year it is, it’s never too late to start organising your notes into folders. Depending on the subject, usually it’s logical to have a folder per module which you can split into different topics using file dividers. Get yourself down to a Wilkinson’s or Home Bargains to stock up on some cheap stationary.
3) Laptop vs. paper
The laptop vs. paper debate is long withstanding. Personally, I write on my laptop during lectures and paper during seminars and tutorials. No matter your preference, try and stick to one form of note making for a particular module or you’ll find yourself searching your laptop for notes written on a scrap of paper weeks ago.
4) Tidy your room
You might feel on top of your work and social life, but walking into a completely disorganised room after a long day at the library can outweigh all those positive vibes. Try and dedicate a solid ten minutes per day just giving your room a quick tidy and a clean. I’m a try believer that an organised room is a big step towards becoming an organised person.
5) Buy a planner
There’s one thing having a calendar for when you’re at home, but having a little note book or day planner for when you’re out and about is key. You don’t have to excessively write every plan you ever make, but you could set yourself a few tasks per day and if it’s written down you’re more likely to feel guilty for not doing it.
6) Start the day with catching up on life
Starting the day with a quick check of your emails and social media updates might help you from becoming distracted and checking them throughout the day. Make a cup of coffee, sit at your desk and give yourself ten to twenty minutes of pure catch up. This will help ease you into starting proper work, just try and make sure your ten minutes doesn’t turn into an hour.
7) Make long term lists and short term lists
Lists are the gold dust of organisation, but if they’re not written effectively, they’re pretty pointless. There is no point adding “put a wash on” onto the same list as “look at graduate jobs.” Splitting your lists into different sections will make your every day tasks will seem more doable and your longer term plans more approachable.