English is known for not having many contact hours (I currently have 5) which means time management is one of the most important things for getting your work done. I feel after 2 whole years studying English I’ve mastered my organisation and time management so that I can get all my reading and seminar prep done. I thought I’d share with you how I manage my studies with you all now that I am fully settled in to my routine!
- Timetabling; every week I make my own timetable to make up for the lack of substance in my real life uni timetable. I do this on the apple calendar app so that it syncs from my laptop to my phone and I can access it everywhere. My timetable includes everything in my life such as when I cook meals, nights out, days off, gym and of course uni work. As you can probably tell I am a bit of an obsessive planner but if I timetable everything it means I end up having realistic expectations on how much work I will get done. My biggest tip for this is to make use of creating your own categories as this means you can add colours and it makes it extremely aesthetically pleasing.
- Journals; I don’t have a specific diary as everything I have planned is put on my calendar, so there would be no need. However, I do have a journal I chose especially which has all the features I need in it. This includes a to do list, a timetable, most important projects and a notes section I usually use to write my weekly to do (I rewrite this for each day and cross things off as I go). The best feature is the to do list for me, as I can write down every single task I need to do for the day e.g. washing, grocery shopping or seminar prep, having it in a book form means I can see what I didn’t get done one day and just automatically transfer it to the next. I can be more specific with my tasks than I can in the calendar app like how many pages I need to read or how many criticism articles. My journal is an ohh deer journal from Urban Outfitters, the cover is blue marble so having a pretty one also really helps me want to use it.
- Day off; every week I make sure I have a day off instead of doing bits of work every day of the week, this allows me to chill out and have some me time. It also means that the next day I’m fully refuelled and re-motivated to get back into following the timetable. This day is usually a Thursday, because no work can be done on a LetsDisko hangover.
- Dissertation organisation; my dissertation is requiring a lot of reading and work, I found when I was left to set my own goals and tasks I was really unmotivated. I’ve decided to make sure I have more frequent short meetings with my dissertation tutor weekly or fortnightly as it means she gives me advice on what tasks to complete and I then have a deadline in which to complete them. This has meant I have really managed to get the work I need to done for it.
- A tidy space; I find it very difficult to work in a messy space, being tidy is very important for my productivity. I make sure that I remove all clutter from my room and my desk before I begin my work. I also sometimes go to work in the library, which is a great space for productivity but at this time of year it’s very cold and I would much rather be wearing my warm pajamas!
I find for me its important to keep on top of work weekly as it means at the end of term when I have assignments and exams I’m not overly stressed. However, I find it even more important to make sure that I know that some weeks I won’t be as motivated and I won’t get all the work I need to done, as its completely natural to feel that way. I hope this helps someone and gives some of you tips on how to stay organised and productive!