Hi, friends! Another semester is coming upon us very soon. I’m excited, but nervous at the same time, since I’m now taking junior-level classes! Your semester doesn’t have to make you nervous, though. If you take advantage of these systems, you can use them to simplify your busy life. Here are some strategies you can use to make your semester go smoother.
Plan by hour using Google Calendar or iCal
A lot of things slip through the cracks because we don’t plan to dedicate time to them. For example, I lost track of my exercise routine because I didn’t schedule time for it. Sometimes, a to-do list is all you need. If you’re like me and tend to get distracted by using your phone, causing these tasks to expand to a much longer time frame than they need to, you should plan by hour using Google Calendar, iCal, or even your paper planner. When you plan by hour, these tasks won’t take longer than they should. This coming semester, I’m going to try to schedule by hour with Google calendar, we’ll see how it goes!
Put your phone on airplane mode when studying and during class
I started doing this last semester and it really helped me resist the temptation to use my phone during class and study time. When I had a long break in between classes, I would go to the library to get some studying done. I would get so distracted with my phone that I barely had any time left to actually work. However, when I put my phone on airplane mode, I was able to actually get stuff done. (Bonus: if you put your phone on airplane mode while it’s charging, it will charge faster! I left the library with my work done and my phone charged. Win-win!)
For long assignments, have a timeline for when you want to complete them
The assignment planner printable by Sara from Sara Laughed has been my best friend whenever I have to complete a long assignment such as a project or a big paper. I love that is has a place to write down everything you need to do for that project, a place to brainstorm, and most importantly, a place to write down the due date! I love that there’s a checklist that has you write due dates, so that you set dates for yourself for each little step in the project. Every time I have a major paper due, I use this sheet to keep track of what needs to be done and when. It’s helped me stay organized.
For recurring assignments, do them at the same time
If you have a quiz every week, or if you have to turn in a short piece of writing or any other type of assignment at the same time every week, I’d suggest setting apart the same time block every week to do them. For example, if you have a calculus quiz every Thursday, set aside the same time block each Wednesday night to study for it. I used this method when I had to study for weekly calculus quizzes and bio/chem lab quizzes. Believe it or not, it’s possible to forget about a weekly quiz even though you know you have weekly quizzes. It happened to me when I was dealing with a lot in my personal life that week and I totally forgot about the weekly Chem quiz. Needless to say, I failed that quiz. I decided to implement this system and haven’t failed another quiz since.
Have a morning/nighttime routine
Routines can be so helpful. They help you know what to do when. In my experience, having a morning and nighttime routine helps me be adequately prepared for the day ahead of me. (It may help that I’m kind of a routine nerd- I love predictability and reliability. If you’re familiar with Myers-Briggs personality types, I’m totally a J.) For the first few weeks of using my routine, I’d have my phone sound an alarm when it was time to move to the next event. (For example, I’d give myself 15 minutes to eat breakfast, and then 10 minutes to get dressed. When it’s time to move from breakfast to getting dressed, my phone will let me know! This way, I don’t fall behind on my routine.)
Automate whatever you can
It’s so annoying to have to remember to pay your bills every month. Automate payments and other things you can so that you don’t get your electricity, water, or phone service cut off. (We all know that would be a nightmare!) This also applies to your blog. Schedule social media posts and blog posts whenever you can. That way, your posts will go live at the same time, and you don’t have to remember to hit “publish” every time.
Keeping track of your schedule, long term assignments, weekly assignments, and shutting off your phone during class and study time can definitely improve your efficiency. I hope these strategies help make your semester go a little bit smoother!
Do you have any strategies to help simplify your life? Let me know in the comments!
Aly is a Biology student who is passionate about writing. Her blog, Welcome to Aly’s World, is a college lifestyle blog that focuses on helping fellow students improve themselves and their blogs. When she’s not blogging or studying, she’s probably reading, writing in a journal, listening to music, cuddling her dog, or watching a Marvel/Disney movie. Make sure to find Aly on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook!