Okay ladies (and everyone else), now let’s get some organisation
Are you juggling a whole lot of commitments plus a tendency to procrastinate? Antonia Mangos has the lowdown on how to keep all your responsibilities in formation.
You have work this weekend, two deadlines, and you have also taken on some added tasks for one of your internships for Monday, whilst only being 500 words into a 1500 word essay PLUS next week’s readings that you still have not done. If you are anything like me (a struggling uni student who is broke, tired, and out of time), and let’s face it, we all are, then getting organised just seems impossible. Fortunately for you, my residence on struggle street has helped me learn how to keep on top of all my tasks. Allow me to so humbly pass on to you some basic steps to preventing another existential breakdown.
I will easily admit that in high school, I had a school diary I never used, but upon entering uni, it has become the most important tool for me to know what’s actually happening in my life. Not only do I have a diary, but a corresponding calendar, (I prefer physical but digital works too), where I transfer important events and dates between the two. There are also so many apps you can use as a supplement for the hard copy, including Google Calendar and DigiCal Calendar, but it all depends what works for you. But I cannot stress enough how important it is to know what is coming up and what is due, and having it visualised through a diary or calendar. An example of this is through the use of post-it notes during the uni semester. The way I like to do this is by labelling week one to 12, including STUVAC, at the top, and all my assignments as post-it notes sticking out from the side. It is also really great feeling removing these once you’ve gotten through a tough week or assessment. This is merely one of the many ways your plans can be visualised, another popular example is through bullet journals.
These are either a make or break, and I am sure you have seen the memes (cue Oprah relaxing in a bubble bath after ticking off one item). However, there is a reason to-do lists are still used, because they do (to some degree) work. If you have a whole bunch of tasks to do at the one time, by writing them down, you can stop yourself from being overwhelmed by the many different tasks. Setting tasks out in this way, I for one do these in order of urgency, not only ensures you are making progress, but that you do not forget all the tasks you have to do. There are also apps which can be used set reminders to keep you from procrastinating including TickTick, Any.do and Google Keep.
Break Up Your Study
I am sure you have been breaking a sweat, and maybe even your keyboard trying to make a deadline at 11.59pm at least once in your uni career (or at least once every semester). Procrastination is the enemy, but it does not have to be. One method to prevent yourself from high-key stressing on a midnight deadline is by dividing how much you spend on your tasks and being able to go and watch that vine compilation without the guilt in the background. For example, I find that if I know my deadline, then I work out how many words I have to do per day before it’s due, including the time to do my referencing and research. Placing too much energy in completing a task in one sitting means you are more likely to procrastinate in any way humanly possible, even by staring at your blank wall for half an hour, so breaking up your study is guaranteed to prevent you from drowning in your work – and also allows you to have a rest without feeling guilty.
Set Your Own Deadlines
This one is definitely a personal preference. As an over-thinker and over-stressor with an active social life, I know the dread of approaching deadlines. It doesn’t help that I’m a perfectionist too. One way I like to avoid this and enjoy myself completely whenever I am away from the work I have to do, is by having it done before it happens. You may think I am crazy, but I like to give myself at least three to four days before the due date to have it done, this also means I have time to look over it and fix anything that turns out to be completely wrong. I do this by creating my own ‘assessment notifications’ (a concept my high school gave me and I know use religiously) so I can breakdown all the required criteria and realistically plan the earliest I can complete it. By ensuring I have it done in my own time means I won’t miss the actual deadline. Honestly, this method has saved me a lot of headache and heartache so I definitely recommend.
Antonia Mangos (Toni) is a second year journalism student with one part-time job, two internships and one volunteer role, as well as her studies. As a self-confessed procrastinator, Toni will either find herself deep into a Netflix binge or Vine coma when she isn’t working.