February 10, 2019, by Lucy
A Guide to Overcoming Disorganisation
At the beginning of every term I’ve been at university, I have told myself that this will be the semester that I will be organised. Whether that means keeping on top of my workload, eating regular (normal) meals or sticking to a general ‘life’ schedule, I set out to manage my life to a T. Although I have never managed to have my things together all of the time *gasps*, I, no humble brag intended, have managed to devise ways of keeping on top of most things most of the time.
Writing up Notes
From personal experience, I have realised that if I don’t type up or otherwise organise my lecture and seminar notes the moment they have been made, they will be neglected until they are needed. As a result, I endeavour to bulk up and finalise any notes made the weekend after they were gathered at the very latest. Although motivation is not always there, when it comes to exam and deadline session, the presence of fully formed revision becomes one of life’s true blessings. I’m not saying that I go through my notes, remembering them back to front, inside out the moment that they are made, but I make sure that the content I have is well-developed and of use in the future.
Gathering Information for your Notes
Likewise, when it comes to writing any notes, specifically in lectures or workshops, noting that any resources used in the session will be available online is pivotal. Indeed, if you can access the information later on, in your spare time, why waste time writing half-formed notes during the session? Chances are, the notes will be rushed, underdeveloped and lacking and coherent structure. In turn, more focus is spent consuming this information as opposed to paying attention to what is going on. Therefore, when it comes to taking notes, concentrate on what is being said rather than what is being presented. Has your lecturer just said a really significant point that might help you write an essay? Has your classmate just added another side to an argument you have formed? Has an important bibliographic reference just been mentioned? WRITE THAT STUFF DOWN!!!
Meal prep. Yup, that’s right, get the Tupperware out and get cooking (during the time that you can be bothered to do so, that is). As tiring as bulk cooking sounds, it is something that everyone does accidentally. Think about it: how many times have you managed to cook a meal for one rather than the entirety of Lenton. When put like this, bulk cooking needn’t be daunting. Every time you make a meal for you plus 10, pot the additional portions into tubs and whack them in the freezer. Then, on those days where energy levels have gone out of the window, crack out one of these meals. Tiredness is not a reason to neglect the nourishment your body requires.
Write to-do Lists
Breaking a day, or even pieces of work, into smaller chunks makes tasks more manageable. Additionally, this breakdown of requirements increases productivity through the sense of achievement created as things get crossed off the list. Personally, to-do lists appear informal and unintimidating, promoting a feeling of accomplishment even if I have spent the day in bed – if I have completed everything on my list then I have completed everything I set out to do, regardless of how I did it.
Catch Them Zzzs
Sleep is central to being organised. The key thing here is ‘sleep’ – not ‘naps’. No work is going to be completed to the best ability and organisation is going to slack if you feel tired all of the time. It’s logical really – if you only managed to get four hours sleep, you may end up missing classes, lack motivation to do any additional work and become inundated by a build-up of work. Some science boffins have posited that eight hours of sleep is the optimum amount to ensure alertness. When you’re used to staying up until 2am for a 7am start, this may seem like a chore, but once you’ve experienced the feeling of a good night’s sleep, the benefits of having an early night will immediately counteract the costs.