Prioritising and Organising- Tips for Students
For some, prioritising and organising seems like a waste of time – “Why spend time organising WHEN I’m going to do my work when I COULD BE doing my work?!”. The reality is that by being organised, you will not only open up more time for doing things you enjoy, but you won’t forget about that assignment or submit your essay late (again). Often, students who are organised tend to also be more motivated in their study- they don’t stress as much and don’t feel as overwhelmed. Once you get the hang of prioritising and organising, it will no longer be a hassle, just a habit. Here are a few steps you can take to get started prioritising and organising your study!
Write out everything that you have to do
Even if a task is only due in 2 weeks, write it down. If you’re more of a techie person, you can download this free daily planner and plan your tasks on your computer/ smartphone! You can even print this planner and write on it. By writing everything down, you won’t stress about having to remember everything that you have to do. You also won’t forget when particular tasks are due!
Write the due date next to the tasks
By writing the due date next to the task, you will be able to see when it is due and be sure not to miss/forget the due date. It also makes it much easier to notice the urgency of each task and focus on the most urgent tasks first.
Number your tasks based on urgency
Take into consideration when the task is due and how long you think it will take you to complete. For example, if you think one task will take very long, but is only due in 2 weeks, give it a low number (e.g.: 2). This means that you’ll tackle this task second. You should also take into account how much stress the task is causing you – if you find yourself stressing about it constantly, do it early to get it out of the way. Make sure to cross out the tasks you’ve completed- it is probably one of the most satisfying thing ever (beside popping bubble wrap)!
Get a calendar/ personal planner
Never underestimate the power of a personal planner, or just a simple calendar! When you write down when all of your tasks are due, a calendar makes it so much easier to visualise. You’ll see exactly when which task is due and avoid those late night stress sessions!
Decide which tasks to do on which days
Okay, so now you can see when which tasks are due and how urgent each one is. Now, get to work deciding which tasks you’ll do on which days. Dedicate a lot of time to tasks you think will take the longest, and less time on tasks you know will be quick. Make sure to also schedule in some chill days where you can either catch up on tasks you fell behind on or just do nothing at all! Making time for yourself to relax is just as important as making time to study!
Change your plan as new things come up
Maybe more homework came up, or maybe you would like to take Saturday off to spend time with your friends. Don’t be afraid to do your tasks a bit earlier/ later (depending on when they’re due) and enjoy your day off! The schedule you created for yourself isn’t set in stone and can often be changed to suit your social schedule.
Extra ways to prioritise and organise
Next to your tasks, write down how many hours it will take you to do- this way, you will know how many tasks you can plan on doing each day.
Schedule in things that you would like to do (sports, TV, time with friends) first, and then add in your tasks around it. This way, you know you have enough chill time and will be more motivated to do the tasks when you have to!
Make sure that you have set goals for yourself- it’ll help you know exactly what you’re aiming for!