How to be a more organised student

When you become a student at university, it is such a change in lifestyle from living at home. You have to be independent and do everything yourself, there's no Mum or Dad to cook you dinner, remind you to do things or pick items up from the shop at the last minute. Sometimes you can have so much on your mind all at once, which for me currently includes coursework, a million different assignments, exam revision as well as chores like cooking and cleaning while still finding time to squeeze in exercise and socialising. Recently I feel like I have been getting really bad at staying organised and on top of things so I have been trying hard to improve my time management and become a lot better at being organised by finding little ways to help me do this, and thought I would share a few ways to help out anyone else having the same problem.

1. Do the tedious/difficult tasks first

When revising or completing daily errands it is so easy to get into a habit of putting off the tedious and time consuming tasks in favour of more fun or enjoyable ones, which does nothing but leave you with a worry at the back of your mind. It is such a great feeling of freedom to finish the daunting work that you've had to work really hard on or completed all of the stressful errands for the day.

2. Tidy your workspace

I am guilty of not keeping my desk as tidy as I should do, a few days ago it pretty much summed up my mind; messy, cluttered and disorganised. Your workspace should be a completely clutter free zone. When everything is neat and organised you are much more likely to do better at your work and may even enjoy it more (if that's even possible), after all a clear space = a clear mind. Also, be sure to make your work space comfortable and free from distractions, especially if you are one of those 'get distracted by absolutely everything' kinda people.

3. Manage your money

Keeping track of your money in comings and outgoings will ensure that you avoid money worries. Budgeting can be time consuming but it is worth it to save time and money in the long run.  Make a list of everything that you need to spend money on in a week and give yourself a budget for each one, the main areas should probably include:

  • Rent
  • Food
  • Laundry
  • Entertainment (e.g. Netflix)
  • Socialising
  • Clothes and Shoes
  • Christmas shopping (for this time of year)
Be sure to take advantage of offers and discounts and shop around to find the cheapest places to buy certain items, places like Farm foods and B&M are a lot cheaper than most supermarkets for example. Also, definitely invest in a student card, it can end up saving you a lot of money, especially if you like to eat out at restaurants or buy a lot of clothes. 

4. Make a shopping list 

Something I have recently started doing is keeping a list of things that I need to buy when I go shopping at the end of the week, and adding things to it as soon as I run out of something to avoid forgetting to buy anything, It is the worst feeling when you get all the way back from a stressful shopping trip only to realise that you have forgotten something that you really needed. This will also reduce overspending all your money on things that you don't really need and having to live off beans until your next student loan... Another tip is to do big grocery shops online, especially in winter, to quickly and easily find what you need, as well as avoiding that dreaded walk home in the wind and rain with bags that feel like they're about to tear your arms off, trust me it's horrible.

4. Keep on top of laundry

Firstly, use two washing baskets. This may sound so simple but I didn't even think about doing it until a friend gave me the idea. Nobody likes the chore of sifting through dirty laundry at the end of the week to sort the darks from lights so keeping a washing basket for each is great for lazy people like me to save time and effort.

I usually end up wearing my entire wardrobe before bulk washing everything at once to save money, but definitely think about having a designated day for washing each week to make sure that you don't end up running out of clothes to wear.

5. Use lists and have clear goals

It has gotten to the point in my life where I have so much to remember that I pretty much completely rely on writing lists and noting things down on calenders to keep me from forgetting or worrying about them. If you jot down all deadlines and events on a calender it allows you to prioritise your work and manage your time, making life so much easier, especially if you are as hopelessly forgetful as me. I try to focus on one thing at a time and break down huge tasks into smaller chunks to stop me from becoming completely overwhelmed. It goes without saying, complete assignments and homework well in advance, don't leave it until the day before they're due!

hope this helps!

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