I love pens and highlighters. And notebooks. And file binders..
In short, I love stationery. There is nothing more glorious than a new set of Sharpies or that fresh-paper-scent off brand new paper. I kid myself that it helps me stay organised and go out and buy more than I can ever hope to organise neatly.
In order to appease my stationery needs (read wants) Paperchase, WH Smith and Amazon are my favourite haunts.. Amazon as always will give you the best deals on just about anything. In fact I just about sense the need for a new pack of pens..
However, this post isn’t about my not-so-secret hording. It’s about the need to be organised and a few quick tips you might be able to stay on top of Uni this way! It took me a good while to learn to balance home and work – taking care of household chores and the cooking while managing a full schedule. I really hope this helps you as you figure your own style of doing things!
- Plan Ahead
How boring! But the reality is, you’re unlikely to be prepared for your week/month if you have no idea what it entails. We have calendars updated on our online portals that specify lectures and tutorials, try to sync these to your phone so you’ve got it on the go and know of any changes. Knowing your timings allow time to prep for sessions and give you free time for fun with friends – and your chores! This is also key if you prefer cooking at home and need to meal prep for those long days.
I’m a big fan of lists! You could almost say I write lists of making other lists… I love the satisfaction that comes with striking the last thing off a long list. To do lists can take many forms. It could be a daily list of simple things you need to get done, a weekly plan or a set of long term goals you want to keep sight of. The easiest way is to have Notes on your phone/laptop that allow you to edit on the go. If you’re keener on the paper and pen, treat yourself to some fancy note paper if it makes it any less painful!
This kind of leads on from my second point. Not all tasks are equal and it’s important to rank things in terms of timescale and just impact. Your course work will probably be a priority as well as any events/organisations that are particularly important to you. Even certain social engagements such as a close friend’s birthday/graduation party will have to be prioritised at some points. By keeping a certain order or tagging tasks with priority (urgent/important/can wait) you’ll know you haven’t missed out anything key.
This is a post on its own, but budgeting is SO important. For those of you living away from home for the first time, this will be a wakeup call to how quickly money can disappear each month! I’ll try and write a post on this ASAP (with special mention of student discounts) but until then, just be aware of your ££ and where it goes!
This is ESSENTIAL. You’re going to be working really hard (we hope) and it’s only fair you have your rewards to keep you going! Being organised will help everything go smoothly but treating yourself will continue to inspire you to work at your best. Go out for a good meal or head out to the famous Union for a Friday night out. Sometimes a quiet night of pampering at home with a good book/movie and a large mug of tea is just what you need. Whatever works for you, make sure you don’t get swept away with work and forget to take care of yourself.
Well that’s it really! I rarely get the balance right but everything’s a work in progress I guess. Good luck for the first few weeks of term and I’ll see you guys really soon.