Keeping on top of everything at university can be a struggle. Trying to balance your studies, socialising, societies and maybe even a part-time job can feel overwhelming and stressful. That’s why in this blog we will give you some ideas on how to stay organised at university!
Get a study planner
It seems pretty obvious, but a study planner is one of the simplest ways to stay organised at university. These are great for noting down all of your assignment and exam deadlines so that you’ll never forget. You can also use these to create to-do lists and timetables. Something like this Paperchase study planner is ideal. Just remember to always keep it in your backpack so you don’t forget it!
Use a calendar
A calendar is another great organisation tool which gives you a clear view of how much time you have to get things done. You can also use these to block your time for different activities each day. You can get a physical calendar or you can use a digital one like Google Calendar which allows you to colour code different tasks.
Set a good sleep schedule
You aren’t going to feel particularly productive or organised if you are falling asleep in lectures, so getting a solid 8 hours sleep is a must. You should try to get into a routine where you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day to train your body clock. And try to wake up at a reasonable time in the mornings so you aren’t rushing to leave the house. Rushing makes you feel stressed and you are more likely to forget something important.
Get organised the night before
Getting organised the night before is another way to stay on top of things. You should pick out your outfit and get your backpack ready with all of your essentials. You can also prepare your lunch the night before if you take it with you. This saves time and avoids stress.
Keep your files in order
It is also important to keep all of your files in order. If you have a lot of loose paper documents, you should organise these into binders. You could have a different binder for each of your modules, or use separators. If your files are mostly on your laptop, it’s important to keep these organised too! Use clearly labelled folders for your different modules and subjects, and make sure to keep a back up of your documents on a USB or use cloud storage. This gives you peace of mind that if your laptop breaks, your work is still safe.
Keep on top of lectures
Lectures can feel a bit overwhelming as it is a lot of information being given to you over 2 hours or so. To keep on top of it and stay organised, you should make some notes before each lecture. It is common that lecturers will post the lecture plan or PowerPoints in advance, which will show you what will be covered. Having this outline prepared means that you can concentrate on any extra or interesting information your lecturer adds during the lecture. And after the lecture you should read through your notes and make sure you have fully absorbed and understood the information. If there are any parts you don’t quite understand, you should note these down so you can look more closely at it or ask your lecturer to clarify.
Plan revision in advance
Once you know your exam dates, you should use a calendar to start blocking revision times for each of your exams. This will help you stay organised and prepare. It will depend on how well you know each subject, but you should begin to revise for each exam at least a couple of weeks in advance. Cramming the night before is definitely not the way to go. You can check out our other blog post here where we highlight the best revision techniques.
Stationary at the ready
Another way to stay organised at university is to make sure you have all the stationary you may need. There’s nothing more unorganised than turning up for class with your notebook, but no pen to write with. If you do all of your work on a laptop then this may be less of a concern, but it is still a good idea to have a notebook and pens with you just in case it runs out of charge. You should invest in a pencil case to keep all of your pens and pencils together.
Keep your study space tidy
If your study space is cluttered and messy, it is off putting and can make you feel overwhelmed. Keep your desk neat and tidy and clear away any distractions. And it may be tempting to study on your bed, but try to set up a dedicated study space where you feel productive.
Break assignments down
If you have a 3,000 word essay to do, it can feel a bit daunting and may even cause you to procrastinate. A better way to stay productive and organised is to break assignments down into manageable chunks. A 3,000 word essay feels much more doable when you break it into 5 chunks of 600 words each. Tackle each chunk at a time and make sure you give yourself enough time to get it completed.
Check your emails regularly
It is likely that your lecturers main method of communication will be via email, so it is important to check these regularly. If you don’t then you may miss important information regarding assignments and classes. And if a class is cancelled last minute, you don’t want to be the only one turning up! So it can be a good idea to sync your university email to your phone and to set up notifications.
Take breaks and relax
Finally, don’t forget to take breaks and relax! Taking time for yourself will help you avoid stress and burnout. This will make you a more productive and organised student in the long-run.
We hope that you have found these tips helpful on how to stay organised at university! Let us know in the comments if you have any tips that you would like to share! And you can check out our other blog post here where we discuss the top 10 revision techniques for students.