Getting organised and managing your time

Throughout education, these two skills are vital in helping you to work effectively so you can enhance productivity and reduce stress. I’ve put together some top tips to help in getting yourself organised in your studies and managing your time so you can focus not only on your work, but yourself – remember it’s not all about the work!

Create yourself a timetable
I have found this particularly helpful in keeping myself organised through the day and ensuring I make the most of my time. There are lots of ways that you can construct a timetable – Microsoft excel, through apps, in a diary or simply draw one up on paper or a whiteboard. Add each day of the week and different times through the day, adding in what you plan to do. Sticking to this stops you overworking yourself and allows you to plan in some social activities to help that work-life balance.

Put together a to do list
Whether this be the night before or the morning of your day, putting yourself together a to do list can be enormously useful. It will allow you to keep track of everything you need to do and get on top of all the tasks you have. But make sure to not plan yourself too much – get the most important tasks written and done first then work your way through the rest.

Have folders and dividers for all your work
Whether its class notes, powerpoints, revision or homework, having folders for all your work will make sure you know where everything is and get rid of those panics where you think you’re going to have to rewrite a whole essay because you don’t know where you’ve put it. Section your work with some colourful dividers and label each section. This also goes for your computer documents, have a folder for each topic with different sub sections.

Make use of a calendar
In the current situation of zoom calls, having a calendar with all your calls inputted will allow you to keep track of what’s happening when. Note down the ID and password of each call and set yourself a reminder for it before it happens so you can get yourself ready. And if you’re having face to face sessions, don’t forget to add these too!

Stay on top of your emails
This is a must, regularly check your emails and sort through them, keeping the ones you need and clearing the ones you don’t. Doing this will make sure you don’t lose any important information.

Don’t work late!
I think we’ve all been there when it’s getting to about 10pm and you’re still sat writing up your notes. Stop! I’ve learned just how important it is to set yourself a stop time. Planning your day effectively will make sure that you get everything done without needing to miss out on all important sleep. Start early, finish early.

Don’t leave things until the last minute
Getting started early on your work is so important. Plan in your timetable to begin tasks as soon as you get them and save yourself some stress. Although some would probably argue and say that you could write an assignment in a couple of nights before it is due, wouldn’t you much rather have more time to focus on it and have it done and sorted early – less worry!

Limit your distractions
The biggest – your phone. I know, I know, it can be tricky. But I can guarantee it’s worth it because all those few minutes of scrolling through Instagram add up and before you know it you’ve been scrolling for hours. Put your phone away whilst you study and you can spend time on it later knowing all your work is finished!

Some useful apps and websites
Google keep – a free app that you can use to create notes and reminders
Google calendar – a free app where you can input all your zoom calls and lessons and be reminded when they’re happening
Free College Schedule Maker – a website where you can make a timetable for your day, the template is all there, you just need to input all your tasks
Remember the milk – a free app (with the option to upgrade for some more features) that allows you to create reminders, to do lists and schedule your time through the day
Pomodoro online timer – this is a website which uses the Pomodoro study technique of working for 25 minutes, then having a break for 5 minutes and continuing this until your work is finished. A useful technique that you might like to try!

I hope that these tips will be helpful in getting you started on being organised and managing your time. Thank you so much for taking the time to read!

Gemma Goulding

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