College is full of amazing experiences–classes, clubs, sports, campus spots and activities. It is also full of readings, minor tasks, pop quizzes, and exams. Add to that a part-time job, volunteer work, group studies–you name it. How are you supposed to fit it all into your schedule?
Well, there are many ways to keep track of your activities. Want our advice on one of the best investments you can make in your life? Buy a physical, paper planner. The best paper planners include monthly, weekly, and daily (30-min slots) divisions.
If you can take a power hour every week to organize, using your planner, you will be amazed at how much more you can accomplish. Not only will you spend less time wondering how to proceed, you will also be more present in every activity. By knowing you are doing something you planned for and that you have set aside time to accomplish other tasks, you won’t have to worry over whether you should be studying while you are having dinner with a friend.
Follow these steps and tips to make the most of this new miracle in your life:
- Make a habit of using the paper planner: Digital tools are perfectly fine, and in fact it’s great if you want to combine both sets of tools. But sometimes the old-fashioned way is the best way. Quickly jotting down and erasing tasks and events on paper can be helpful for remembering them.
- Set a weekly planning hour in stone: To make the most of this tool, set aside an hour each week to sit down, alone, and take the time to organize your week. The first couple of times might be a little overwhelming. Over time, it will become easier, and you will develop the system that works best for you. It is important to be flexible, but this is the hour you want to keep as consistent as possible in your week. Get organized for the next week, and you will feel less scattered.
- Use a pencil: Putting color and personality into your planner might help you cheer up and feel more inspired. The tasks themselves should be written in pencil. It is easier and definitively prettier if you can quickly erase and shift or substitute a task. It also helps you think of your plans as flexible.
- Organize monthly, weekly, and daily: Begin by setting all your big events and due dates on the monthly view of your calendar. Then, set those up for each week. Break tasks down into daily activities, especially those bigger projects. Remember to make time for all the important people and activities in your life. School work should not be the only thing in your calendar, at least not all the time.
- Take a look at your agenda after waking up and before going to sleep: By making a habit of looking at your agenda first thing in the morning, your brain can prepare better for the day. At night, make sure to celebrate what you have accomplished and reschedule or reorganize anything you were unable to complete that day.
- Be flexible and adjust: Things happen unexpectedly. Not everything will work out as planned. Don’t panic. Keep calm, and make sure to shift tasks around until you feel comfortable with Plan B.
Finally, make sure you set realistic goals, and allow enough time for every task. Now that you have this new tool, take advantage of it and keep putting effort into completing those tasks as efficiently as possible. Remember, if you learn to plan and execute well, there will be time for working hard and playing hard.
Go, try it out! Then, schedule in a few minutes to tell us about your experience or if you have any questions.
Check out these links for more tips:
- What Happened When I Ditched My Smartphone for a Paper Planner – https://www.fastcompany.com/40400970/what-happened-when-i-ditched-my-smartphone-for-a-paper-planner
- The Art of Doing Twice As Much In Half The Time – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4thQcgLCqk