Happy Monday. I hope you are doing well. Today, I am drinking a nice and cool glass of Roscota Rosso Dolce wine, and oh boy, do I enjoy it. The days are closing in until I am back in class (I better get in all the wine I can till then), and I know some people are already back. I am still processing that this is the last semester of my BA degree. Over the past four years of my degree, I have learned many tips on staying organized and planning out classes. Sometimes, I may go a little overboard, but I can proudly say that I have never handed an assignment in late. I honestly have sworn by many of these tips for the past few years of my degree, and I probably wouldn’t have done so well if I didn’t.
I just want to start by stating that high school, university, college, trade school, etc., are all different places, and we are all different people, so some strategies may work better than others. I find a million strategies work for me, but you may get stressed with more than one method. It is all about finding the perfect balance that works for you. It is about trying things multiple times and evaluating them. I love to assess every schedule, planner, list, or chart to develop the best plans for me.
- Begin Strong:
Honestly, I think this is one of the most important. During my breaks between semesters, I spend most of that time planning for the next semester. Working on your schedule but still getting things done is a more relaxing way to prepare for the upcoming semester. As a university, you may hear in the halls: “I didn’t study that hard for that test, but I will make it up on the final.” I remember hearing this all the time. I seriously thought this was a good idea until recently. The more I think about it, the happier I am to be the type of person that starts strong. I work my hardest at the beginning of the semester. It is when students are usually the most motivated and are usually the least stressed. So, while all these students that put their effort off to the end of the semester are freaking out because they need an 80 on the final to pass, I drink wine the night before, knowing that I already passed the class.
The end of the semester is also when most of the anxiety comes in because you don’t really have many other options. At the beginning of the semester, you can get a tutor, help from the professor or TA, and even drop the course (This isn’t always an option for everyone). So, by starting strong, you already know how your semester will go before things get crazy.
- Begin Organized:
Well, if this isn’t your first blog of mine that you are reading, then you would know that I adore organizing. It is like my stress relief or my favourite procrastination activity (shhhhh… don’t tell anyone that I procrastinate sometimes). I honestly use so many apps, spreadsheets, and alarms it isn’t funny. I will tell you about a few of my favourites because I seriously think they are awesome, but before we get into that, I want to emphasize the importance of doing this ahead of time.
Organizing can be stressful, especially when you are just beginning; by learning how to run the software or learning about the different organizing systems that work for you. It can be a lot to take in, and as I said earlier, it is a trial and error method. Never feel discouraged because one tip doesn’t work for you.
Okay, if you were to only take one thing out of this blog today, it would be how much I recommend this app. My boss showed it to me a couple of months ago, and I swear by it. It is THE BEST APP that I have ever used for organization. Between this and google calendar, I probably could get rid of all the other planners I use; however, I still use many others.
Todoist is a fantastic app for basically to-do lists. You can download it on your phone and your computer to keep track of everything that you need to do. I keep track of all of my Graceful, Grateful, and Gutsy responsibilities. I also keep track of my other two jobs there. Anything that I need to do is on there.
You can also share to-do lists on there, so I shared it with Jessica. We can now share what our schedule is like, what our future blog posts are, and leave comments. It also helps if you are doing a group project and need to delegate something to someone else.
I even use it for working out. Either in the morning or the night before, I write down my workout, and as I go through each part, I check it off. Honestly, I think the overly organized person inside of me just loves to check things off. It just makes me feel good.
I recommend checking out the app. Here is a link with a free two-month premium code: https://todoist.com/r/caitlin_brosinsky_emnpra
- Google Calendar:
I prefer to use Google Calendar for a planner, but this can be different for everyone. I also use Google Calendar and a paper planner for school because multiple reminders are also super important. The more you write or type something, then the less likely you are to forget it.
As you can see above, I have a rigorous and organized schedule. This schedule is what works for me; it may not work as well for you, but I have lots of tips on how to maintain a plan that works for you. To see some tips on how to find what schedule works for you, Check out my blog post on Routines, Habits, and Goals. https://gracefulgratefulandgutsy.com/2020/07/13/routine-habits-and-goals/
If you enjoy my schedule and like having a rigorous plan to stick to, I have plenty of tips. My biggest advice is to understand your priorities and schedule them first; as you see above, my health, work, classes, routines, and writing are the most important things to me. Friends and family are also a large priority to me, but I do not schedule them in, as you can see. This is because I am slightly an introvert – I know, shocking. So, my friends get scheduled in on the day. If I am feeling social one day, then I will find free time and schedule them in. I go more in-depth about creating this schedule in my blog post on 5 Steps to an Organized Life, so check that out. https://gracefulgratefulandgutsy.com/2020/11/09/5-steps-to-an-organized-life/
- To-Do Lists:
Yes, you see this correct. I use todoist and keep to-do lists. This is because I love to see and write things a hundred times, so I do not miss anything. Okay, but more seriousness, I like to have physical copies of things. I like to have sticky notes all over my office. On these sticky notes, I keep tasks that usually do not have a timeframe, but I still want to get them done at some point in the day. Most of the time, they just jot notes, but sometimes, like today, I like to put them in order of priority.
- Do at Least 1 Thing Every Day:
Let’s be honest… I only started implementing this into my life over the past year. By checking at least one thing off your list every day, you will feel more productive and organized. You can also choose one of your small tasks to complete to help you feel more inspired to complete larger tasks. I prefer to complete the large tasks first because the small tasks feel simple after. However, you choose to do it, try to complete at least one task off your to-do list every time.
Message me any tips or tricks that you have to improve your time management as a student or if any of these tips help you. I hope you all have a fantastic day and week. Also, follow us to see our blog on Thursday to help you start preparing for Valentine’s day.
Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash