As a rising senior in college, I’d like to think that throughout my years at school I’ve picked up a few habits that keep me organized and on top of my work. Soon I’ll be back to balancing classes, homework, campus activities, and an internship, and it would definitely do me some good to remember what has worked for me in the past. Today I’m sharing a few of those tips in the hopes that they help you to achieve whatever it is you may be working toward.
- Write everything down. Figure out what works for you – are you a paper kinda gal or a techie girl? I personally prefer a paper agenda to anything else I’ve tried, although I have enjoyed using Google Calendar in the past because I can use it both on my computer and on the app on my phone. I currently have an agenda from Day Designer (check out their website for all kinds of awesome free printables), and I absolutely love that each day is split up by the hour, so you can really plan out your schedule. Just FYI, I got mine at Target for about $12, but they have a lot more expensive, fancier options online as well. (The less expensive ones can be found here.)
- Lists, lists, lists. I would honestly never get anything done if I didn’t constantly make lists. I make a daily to-do list every day in my agenda with more time-sensitive tasks, but I also tend to have several running to-do lists on sticky notes that I stick into my agenda and move around from day to day until everything on the list has been completed. I’ve also used the Wunderlist app for years now, and I don’t think I could live without it. You can create all different lists in the app, and just click when a task is completed, and it disappears. I use this mostly for grocery lists and for more long term lists, like gift ideas for my boyfriend; I write down any ideas I have as they come and then I can look back at the list when his birthday or Christmas rolls around. I also use Wunderlist to keep a running list of movies I want to watch, a wishlist, and blog post ideas – anything that is not time-sensitive.
- Don’t procrastinate. This is so much easier said than done, but it will honestly make you feel much more relaxed when you don’t have a bunch of deadlines hanging over your head all the time. Don’t wait until the last possible minute to start something unpleasant. If you get it done early you’ll have more time to devote to something enjoyable, without it being ruined by that little voice in the back of your mind reminding you that you have work to do.
- Stay on task. Once you start working on something, try not to get distracted by something else until it’s finished. Obviously, this depends on how long or how intense the work is, but generally, I find that it’s faster to get something done if you don’t let other things pop up and distract you throughout the process. Plus, you will feel so accomplished when you get to check something off of your to-do list!
- Keep your space clean. I know I can’t be the only one who can’t concentrate when my living space is messy. My desk is in my bedroom, so for me, that means my bed has to be made and no clutter can be scattered across the floor or the desk. This makes for fewer distractions and more focus. (I also really like to work from bed, but it has to be crisply made or the temptation to nap is way too strong.)
- Put down the phone! This one speaks for itself – you’re never going to get anything done if you’re constantly checking Instagram and scrolling through Facebook. Do yourself a favor and put your phone on silent and place it on the other side of the room. Only check it during planned breaks, and keep these to less than 10 minutes.
Please share any organizational tips you have below, I’d love to learn some new skills!