The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Being organized is vital in college. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed, and I’ve found that staying organized is the best way to keep myself and my work in order. Of course, that’s much easier said than done, so here are my top three tips for being organized during the semester!
- Use a Planner
I’ve gone through a few different kinds of planners over the last four years, and I honestly don’t think that one kind of planner is automatically better than another. It all just depends on what will work best for you. At some points, I preferred to have a physical planner, but more recently, I’ve been happy with using Notion as a more electronic planner.
I like being able to visualize everything that I have going on in my life so I have a clear picture of what’s going on when. I also have a pretty bad memory, and being able to visualize my day-to-day helps me remember different things that I need to get done. It also takes a lot of pressure off of me to know that I have a place I can double-check to make sure I don’t forget anything.
- Follow a Routine
Having a set routine can make such a huge difference in staying organized. What I love most about having a routine in place is that it allows me to get everything done that I need to without having to think too hard about it. That way, I use much less energy on recurring tasks, and I find myself able to get much more done in a day. The tasks that fit into my regular routine become almost like muscle memory.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I know how difficult it can be to create and maintain routines. I’ve gone through a lot of trial and error to find a system that works for me. As much as I rely on routines, I can get bored of them pretty quickly, so I started changing up my routines when they stopped being effective. Now, I don’t get upset with myself if I start to drift from a routine. I just recognize that something isn’t working and make whatever changes I need to.
- Make a To-Do List
I know I already talked about using a planner, but I’m a firm believer that there’s an important difference between a planner and a to-do list. Planners are all about the big picture, but to-do lists are where we get into the details. The daily to-do list on the top of my planner helps me create direction for my day. I can look at each of the tasks I have to get done and frame my day around them.
Taking a few minutes in the morning to write out all my tasks for the day gives me the chance to visualize an organization for my day. I actually like to include tasks that don’t necessarily have to get done that day. That way, as I see a task on my to-do list every day, I remember to get it done as soon as I have a chance, which helps me to stay ahead of my work.
There’s no one right way to make it through these four years. Finding the right path is a personal journey. Even as a graduating senior, I’m still learning new things that are helping my last semester go smoothly. Finding ways to stay organized has helped me avoid so much stress, and these are a few of the ways I’ve found to be most effective.