Organising time efficiently when studying is a really important aspect of university life.
The Christmas holidays can disrupt this - they are a busy time full of travelling, festive parties and of course, eating too much. It’s sometimes hard to fit university work in during this time, so it makes sense that January is the time to get organised, and here’s how:
- Look ahead
An important first step is to figure out what tasks you need to do such as coursework or revision. Establish when things need to be finished and roughly how long they will take.
- Dates in the diary
Once you have established what uni work needs doing, it might be useful to enter these on a calendar. I always find it useful to set reminders so that I can’t avoid anything! Make plans with friends and family and try to agree on a date. Planning ahead can also give you something to look forward to! For example, me and my friends have arranged a dinner and night out for after our exams finish, to give us something to work towards.
You may find that assignments will overlap, or you’re revising for multiple exams which can be really difficult to manage. Find a way of organising your tasks, I’d advise doing it by deadline. Whatever is due first, try and get it completed first.
- Keep going! You can do this!
I know that sometimes it’s hard when you have lots going on to get up and find the motivation to get through the mountain of work / revision before a deadline. But, the way I look at it is, it’s just a few weeks of hard work and then it’s done and you move on to something new. To try boost motivation, avoid doing the same thing for hours on end. You’ll just get bored and easily distracted. Mix up your work, introduce new revision ideas such as mind maps, watching videos or group revision.
- Take breaks
Take breaks regularly and when you can. Set a timer on your phone for every hour or so, and once the time is up, take a short break. Take a walk, make some food or watch a quick episode of your favourite TV show. Anything that you know relaxes you, make sure you do it.
- Eat and stay hydrated
Make sure you drink plenty of water and keep snacks close by. I have seen online that people reward themselves with a snack once they complete work. Your brain can’t without fuel, so before starting the work, make a cup of tea and get some snacks to help. Try and enjoy healthy snacks such as fruit, or something homemade!
- Utilise your calendar
I live by my calendar and a diary. It helps you to see what’s coming in the future, helps you to plan, ensures you don’t double book yourself and also helps you to de-stress. I use it to pencil in uni deadlines, plans with friends and free time.
- Get rid of distractions
We all know what it’s like. A text pops up on your phone, you start scrolling and half an hour later we still haven’t done any work but we have managed to scroll our way through 2 days’ worth of Instagram posts. It’s important to put your phone to one side, put it onto do not disturb mode and get it done. Another way to reward yourself and take a break is to chill out and look on your phone only after completing a task.
- Don’t stress
If you are organised and utilise your time well then hopefully you won’t need to feel stressed. Most people get stressed due to trying to cram work in, and having little time to do so much! The combination of the lack of time and sloppiness due to you rushing then stops you from performing as well as you could have done. Keep calm, try not to get stressed and remember to organise yourself.
You may also find that organising your room and personal space helps you to perform better too. Tidy space, tidy mind as they say! Taking the time and organising your personal space is so easy and in my opinion it’s really worth it!
- Go through your room and empty out all of the rubbish. Anything that you do not use, do not need or is collecting dust, just get rid of it. It will make space for something new or more important!
- Get rid of any unwanted clothes or shoes. Donate these to charity, sell them or give them to friends. Once again clothes take up a lot of space and having a sort out will make room for new things or just give you more personal space.
- Get some boxes or cabinets to help organise smaller bits. Primark sells some great baskets and boxes far under £5 - I have a few in my room. I’ve organised uni work in one, beauty products in the other and then stationary and smaller bits in the last one. This helps to clear your surfaces and keep your room cleaner.
- Have a cleaning session and rearrange furniture. Cleaning doesn’t take long and will leave your room feeling like a nice place to relax in. Open the windows to get fresh air in too. Rearranging furniture can help to make a change and also give you more room. Cleaning products can be brought in Wilko for under £5 and they will last you a while.
- Try not to overbuy. I know overbuying and treating yourself can be difficult not to do and trust me I'm all for treating myself to a new item of clothing - however try not to buy it unless you need it. I have a shopping list in my room so that when I run out of something I write it down and then I know what I need to buy next time I'm shopping . This helps to prevent your room becoming overcrowded with items and stressing you out.
I hope all of these tips help you to get yourself organised this month.