Instead of new year, new me – think new decade, new diary; new decade, new wall calendar; new decade, new deadlines. Yes a slightly daunting thought but one that as a university student you will always have to be thinking. Finish this academic year in a way that will make you look back and be proud of yourself.
1. Commit to a diary/planner
I have always been the person who buys a diary for the new year and says she is going to carry it around everywhere. Then I let myself down about a month in because I leave it at home or I don’t have a pen. If you are this person, then welcome to my newest addition in my organisational toolkit: online calendars. The apple calendar or google calendars are fantastic because it can be logged into online anywhere. It’s so unbelievably handy to know what your week is going to look like when someone asks you when you are next free. But if you are one of those people who like to actually write things down, get yourself a planner and a wall calendar and write it all down!
2. Check your timetable
Before you start uni again check your timetable for changes. Then, once you have it, print it out or write it down so that you have it to hand when the semester starts. I have an app called ‘Timetable’ on my phone that I swear by. It helps during those first couple of days where you’ve left the house and you’ve forgotten which room your seminar is in!
3. Look at your reading lists/module handbooks
Be proactive! Look on blackboard and save your module handbooks and your reading lists. Make sure that you have all the books needed, and create a schedule for what you need to have read by when. I like writing it all down and sticking it up on my wall so that I know what lectures are coming up and the preparation that I need to do for them. It actively makes you think about where the semester is going rather than shuffling week-to-week.
4. Reflect on feedback
When you get your feedback really look at it. See what you can improve on so that for your next assessment you can do that much better.
5. Find out what distracted you before
Hopefully by doing your assignments last semester you will have an idea, or have fully figured out, how and where you work best. If sitting at home doing work doesn’t actually work for you, then don’t do it. If the library doesn’t work then find somewhere else that helps you get the work done to the best of your ability. In my first semester I found out that when I really need to get some work done I have to put my phone on silent in another room, and do little snippets of work in hour slots. Finding a pattern that works is the best way to achieve throughout semester two.
6. To-do lists are your friend
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Here at TFD we *love* to-do lists, but sometimes having too many items that need to be checked off can feel overwhelming. Basically, many of us are focusing on too many things at once. If, like us, you're always looking for ways to feel more productive and make your to-do lists more manageable, hit the link in our bio for "How Your To-Do List Is Actually Making You Less Productive (& How To Fix It)"✨
I always find that when uni starts to get really busy, writing down a to-do list makes everything that much clearer. To-do lists make bigger tasks seem that much smaller, with the idea that you break up something that is difficult into sections to make it easier to tackle.
7. Healthy life, healthy mind
In order to keep organised and fresh throughout the semester, and in order to get back into the swing of things after a long break, keep a healthy life. Make sure you are cooking at home with fresh food and exercising where possible. I didn’t realise until last year how important getting up and getting your day started early helps you get through the day with a much more positive outlook. Also, the earlier you start your day the more time you have to follow your plan and be fully organised for the next day!
The main drive comes from you, however, you have to want to be organised and pro-active in order for it to actually work!