How to Stay Organized in College
Keep a schedule
Knowing when and where your everyday activities are, be they meetings, classes or work will keep you leaps and bounds ahead of the rest. A pocket reference of the day’s activities will make sure you fulfill all of your commitments and don’t miss out on something.
Write down your responsibilities as they arise
I can’t tell you the number of times I have committed to something in passing, forgotten to write it down and then remembered about it at the very last minute. I could have saved myself the stress of so many near-heart attacks by simply writing them down on my agenda or whiteboard so I remembered.
Keep a whiteboard
Keeping a whiteboard will give you a visual reminder every time you go in and out of your room. I use mine to make sure I know what meetings I have coming up that day and also as a check list for chores and things to do. It’s also helpful to keep useful information around it. I keep a list of phone numbers of all my fraternity brothers near mine. It’s also satisfying to erase tasks off of your to-do list and see it shrink before your eyes.
Checklists allow for you to write down what it is you need to get done and have the satisfaction of crossing them out when completed. Attack easy tasks first, and then when your mind is in work mode, take on the more difficult and time-consuming tasks. Before long, you’ll be left with nothing but crossed-out words.
Set reminders on your phone
We live in a very digital age. Setting reminders a half hour or so before meetings will give you plenty of time to get ready if you somehow forgot about it. It’s nice to have that safety net just in case. You can even sync your phone with Google Calendar and have a dynamic schedule that alerts you of meeting changes.
Plan the day before
Every night before I go to bed, I make sure to check the weather to lay out my clothes for the next day. Yeah, sure … Mom probably used to do this for you at home, and yes, it does require a bit of initial effort; but at least you won’t look like a shmuck when you hit the snooze button one too many times and are almost late to class. Another thing I like to do is pack my backpack the night before. That forces me to think about what I’ll actually need for the next day and prevents me from accidentally leaving my homework in the printer.
Do tasks as they come up
Procrastination kills—plain and simple. Putting a task off when you receive it only eats up time in the future when you could be doing other things. I try to do my homework as it is assigned, rather than wait until the night before it’s due. This allows me time to ask the professor questions if any should come up. It’s inevitable that something will come up last minute before the assignment is due, forcing you to miss out or postpone it. Doing my homework throughout the week as it comes up allows me to have my weekends completely off, and I’m free of that nagging feeling of having to do something in the back of my head.
Clean your desk
You clean your kitchen after you cook dinner, right? Why not do the same with your desk after each use? Making sure you know where everything is and having a space that’s actually clean and viable to work on is paramount to getting anything done. By eliminating clutter, you eliminate distractions.
Maintain your routine and then fill in
It’s important to have a semblance of consistency with our lives. Yea, sure … it’s college, but it is beneficial to go to class and those are generally on set times. Fill around your solidified plans with more malleable ones. For example, rather than skipping class, go to the grocery store during your five-hour break between classes.
Ultimately, making sure your life doesn’t end up like a crashed freight train is up to you. This is college. You’re supposed to be mature enough to govern your own time. What you choose to put first on your to-do list is entirely up to you, just make sure you maintain that list of priorities and abide by them.
(Featured Photo Credit: Material Detox )