We’ve all been there. As college students, we start off strong in the beginning of the school year, and by the end of February, all hope is lost. We feel overwhelmed with the conventional methods of keeping all our school stuff together and feel that our lives are falling apart. What can make matters worse is that sometimes we don’t have the time or money to restart our organization process. Here are some tips to make sure you stay organized and on track on a budget this semester.
- Stay calm. It’s easier said than done, but clutter tends to send people into a frenzy, especially if you have a full course load, two jobs, and four other extracurricular activities. The trick to staying calm is to focus on the present moment, where you are in space and time. Taking a few seconds to only be in your surroundings helps to not think about everything you have to complete. Check out the meditation and mindfulness articles that are also in the Living Guide for more information on these techniques.
- Write stuff down. As my mother always says, “If you don’t write stuff down, it stays in your brain with everything else that needs to get done, and then nothing ever gets done.” Take the time to make as many to-do lists as you need and physically check off each item. The feeling of marking out the task is none like any other. If that feeling doesn’t satisfy you, embrace your inner pyromancer and set the list on fire. That should do the trick.
- Grouping. What I mean by this is if you can’t see your desk or floor because of all the random papers you have, take it all and sort it out by relevance. Also even take your books and notebooks and add them to each class period’s papers, that way everything for that specific class is in that pile. Next, put it somewhere that you will remember where it is. Write down where everything is on a sticky note if you have to. It might seem stupid, but trust me when you need to find that paper from the beginning of your literature class, you’ll love that list.
- Invest in the tools you’ll use. Take the time to find cheap and good quality materials that will last you a long time, like a pencil holder for your desk, a folder organizer or extra storage bins for all your textbooks/notebooks. If you invest in the items that will last you can save money in the future.
- Find the method that works for you. If you are not good with to-do lists, don’t make them. If you’re not good with folders or grouping techniques, don’t do them. Every person on Earth has their own style and way of doing tasks. Stick with what works and move on to something new when it doesn’t. If you take the time to plan, you will have more time to work on that paper you forgot about.