Life Hacks for an Organized Year

Balance as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary is “A situation in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions” and that is my ultimate goal for the year. Last year I made my way through the year without many difficulties in terms of scheduling and completing tasks.  It was also the first time I had a “social life”.  I was in a rigorous academic program in high school and while I did enjoy it, after school and weekends mostly consisted of me in the basement doing my homework looking like this

My year was very much in my hands last year and it created a more relaxed headspace for me, but one of the things I am working to improve on this year is time management and goal setting.  One of the worst feelings is having a list in your head of things you have to do, thinking you have done everything and then realizing there was that extra reading you needed to do or emails that haven’t been replied to.  Starting second year, I know that I have a lot more responsibilities than in first year.  In addition to a full course load, I am involved with 3 fantastic teams, I have a part-time job, I’m doing research for my exchange, and for my own peace of mind and general life enjoyment I need to spend time with my family and friends.

counting

These are the methods I plan to use to keep my head from falling off

  1. Use an agenda
    I know this sounds like a pretty straight forward suggestion but I fall into the trap that many students do every year. I get my agenda, comment about how cute it is and then after a few weeks forget to update it.  I am off to a good start, I have colour-coded my calendar and I have been updating it.  I am a predominantly visual learner and the colours help me differentiate between what I have to do for each course or extra-curricular. It also ensures that I create a running list of tasks and important dates so that I don’t forget.
    Life Hack: The GCSU (and the YFS) always has free agendas at the beginning of the year

agenda

  1. Use time wisely
    Although I am taking a full course load, I managed to schedule all my classes into 3 days. While that means lots of class time on some days (i.e. 9 hour Wednesdays), it also means that I have a lot of “free time”.  Unlike in high school, university gives you what seems to be free time.  *Disclaimer* this isn’t free time!  The time is most efficiently used if you are being productive whether that is working on readings and homework or going to meetings etc.  Also it’s not good to say “I’ve got time” and be late for something or not be able to do something else (e.g. when Mr. Incredible tries to catch the bad guys and almost misses his wedding)
    Life Hack: Find your favourite spot on campus to work and go there when you have “spare time”
    I've got time
  2. Say No
    I have always been the kind of person that likes to be in control of situations and I have a hard time delegating tasks. As I get older, I have learned to recognize when I have too much on my plate and when I can ask for help to complete tasks.  I have also learned that it is perfectly fine to say no when someone asks you to do something.
    Life Hack: Saying no to someone takes stress off of you, and even if there’s no one to do it, a job not done is usually better than a job done in at high-stress time and which makes you feel unwell.

Here’s to a successful, organized AND FUN year!

allons-y

Song of the Week: Rudimental – Free
This band opened for Ed Sheeran on Thursday and they were amazing and everyone should check them out!

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4 thoughts on “Life Hacks for an Organized Year

  1. Beckie Hickman

    Omg yes to Free by Rudimental! I was at the concert too and I’m listening to their album and Rudimental’s album while I do my readings!

  2. Saying no is the biggest thing for me. I think I’m getting better but it’s ridiculous how long I spend feeling guilty for not being able to do something. Self care = important.

    PS – from an outsider’s perspective, you def seem to have it all put-together (you are never stressed!!) so I will take these tips seriously! Great post 🙂

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