My Organization Tips + Tricks
- Feb 15, 2019
A look into how I plan my lifestyle during undergrad:
GET A PLANNER - At the beginning of each semester, I will read all the syllabi for my classes and write every single due date in my planner (exams, homework, quizzes, practicals, and worksheets). Pick a planner that you will actually use and that appeals to you! Mine has various motivational sections consisting of goals, future trips, and an accomplishment timeline. As you progress on to the upper-level sciences courses, some courses will be hybrid or completely online meaning that YOU need to stay on track of the videos and lectures that need to be watched everyday. I write down the topic of each of the lectures that week to keep me on track of what we are learning. I then color code each of the classes to highlight all of the specific work that is for that class. On the side of the calendar view, I will jot down personal tasks that I need to do for each specific month. For all of my extracurriculars, I will get the semester schedule of the meetings and write those in my planner to remind me that we have a meeting or volunteer events coming up.
GOAL PLANNING - At the beginning of each month, I will write short-term goals that I would like to accomplish. For example, it may be obtaining a certain job position that you’ve always been interested in, trying to get a 4.0 on an exam, getting your application materials ready, or even trying to wake up earlier one day so you can accomplish some extra work. Make sure your goals make you feel accomplished. Set some attainable goals and learn to push yourself hard in order to achieve them. Listing long-term goals for the year are always great for reminding yourself what you are really striving for.
TIME MANAGEMENT - This is definitely the most crucial part of organization. You will learn as you start balancing jobs, research, volunteering, studying, and extracurriculars that it can get pretty hectic. Creating a schedule and sticking to it will be a great habit to develop. I recommend using Google Calendar if you would rather do everything online, it will color-code tasks for you as well as remind you what you have for that specific day. The key is setting your priorities correctly for each week and to set personal deadlines for each responsibility. You may think that you have all the time in the world to pile on multiple responsibilities but don't spread yourself too thin or else you will get so worn out. Lay out a time-line of your next few years to try and plan for the future regarding balancing out when to take the entrance exam for your desired professional school, taking summer classes, volunteering, and working.
MAKE A TO-DO LIST - I always put a sticky note on my computer with assignments I want to get accomplished for the week so whenever I open my laptop, it reminds me of what I need to get done. I also use the Stickies tool on my laptop to lay out a color-coded week of each day and list what I need to get done by each day. I like being constantly reminded of assignments to complete so I won’t ever forget and being able to physically cross out what you have accomplished is somewhat satisfying.
BREATHE & RELAX - The most important part of all of this is YOU - always make time for yourself. We are all so busy, we sometimes tend to forget that we still need to take care of our body. Don’t use being too busy as an excuse to not take a break - you are still a human. Our bodies need a break from studying and striving to be a great proactive pre-professional student. Find something that relieves your stress - whether it’s working out, shopping, gaming, knitting, drawing, painting, etc. As long as you have that go-to habit where you can wind down from the chaotic lifestyle of being an undergraduate student, there’s no doubt you’ll be thanking yourself in the long run.
By: Stacy Vo