Story by Katelyn Philipp
College is hectic. Students are caught up trying to juggle classes, studying, internships, athletic practices, meetings and social activities. This whirlwind can create a lot of stress and late nights, but utilizing the following organizational tips can make life a lot easier.
1) Manage your time: This tip seems obvious, but it can be tricky to do it well. It’s important to know how much you can handle in terms of class loads and outside commitments. Junior Monica Worsley has a lot of practice with this from her involvement in Drake University’s women’s rowing team and holding down two jobs.
“To fulfill all of my commitments and succeed at Drake, I stay active, plan ahead and work efficiently,” Worsley said.
To keep track of your time, write or type out your schedule so you know when you’re busy and what’s coming up soon. That way nothing slips by unnoticed.
2) Break it down: Split up large projects or pesky chores by spending 10 minutes a day working on them. This handy trick takes up only a little of your day, but it keeps you on track. This method can be helpful for midterm projects or ongoing tasks like keeping your space clutter-free.
3) Keep it in perspective: Junior Erin Hassanzadeh has to stay organized as president of Drake Broadcasting System and has a broad idea of how to do it.
“I think that being organized is also about de-cluttering not only your desk space or backpack, but your mind and your priorities.” It’s important to see the big picture and not get caught up in the small details.
“School can be stressful, but remember what is important to you and sometimes let the small clutter go,” Hassanzadeh said.
4) Sync devices: If lugging around a planner isn’t your style, make your schedule portable by syncing your calendar to your smart phone and laptop. Spend some time at the beginning of the semester to fill in important dates, such as exams and project due dates, as well as important practices and meetings. No matter what, you’ll be prepared and have access to your schedule.
5) Be a goal-setter: If you want to get the most out of the semester, try setting goals for yourself. This tip is flexible; set them weekly, monthly or for each semester. Jot them down, keep them somewhere in sight and mark them off as you reach them. Set the bar high, but stay realistic.
6) Browse the app store: Apps aren’t just for entertainment. They can also help you stay organized and on schedule. iProcrastinate is an app that generates personalized to-do lists based on subject, due date and importance. It allows you to color-code classes and break projects down into simple steps.
Also try Trello, an app that makes group projects easier. Instead of having to meet at the library or start a long email chain, simply invite group members to Trello. Once there, you can communicate with each other and organize everything.
7) Develop a routine: Create good habits early on in the semester by sticking to a routine. Start going to the library between classes or Starbucks for weekend study sessions. Block out some time each week to complete your to do list.
“It is so tempting to sit and watch my favorite TV show, ‘NCIS,’ or to take a nap instead of doing something productive, but by making a habit of sticking to a schedule I find it easier to accomplish important assignments, work and compete,” Worsley said. It can be easy to accomplish everything with an established routine.