The power of staying organized

Staying organized with online calendar on mobile device

School, organizations, work, friends, family, oh my! Every college student faces the daily struggle of trying to find a balance in their life and stay organized. When you get one task accomplished, it feels as though six more tasks appear a new event to attend, and a friend that wants to go to dinner. Balancing all of this may seem impossible especially as we are just finishing the midterm season and finals are approaching quickly. I wanted to share my top ten organizational tactics to remain on top of your work but get the most out of your college experience.student keeping organized with planner

  1. Use a planner. As pictured above, my planner is organized monthly, with an hourly schedule and a daily to do list.
  2. Plan your day out hourly or at least a rough estimate of your hours. This ensures that I don’t miss a meeting but it also allows me to see when I do have free time to take a break.
  3. Update to-do lists both in the beginning of the week and each day. Plan in advance so you are not working on a homework assignment until 3:00 in the morning (which unfortunately I have done).
  4. Take a break!!!! Going for nine hours straight studying for an exam is not going to work. This is when you ask your friends to go get dinner or facetime Mom and Dad.
  5. Change up your study space. I have a few non-typical spots on campus that I go to and the change directly increases my productivity. Try a coffee shop far off campus (take a nice walk to get there) or a building on campus that you have never been in before.
  6. Reward yourself with little things. When I have large readings to do I will read a chapter, get myself a snack, read a chapter, check social media. These little check points make your work go faster and smoother.
  7. There is a time for school and a time for a social life. Its really hard to be happy while constantly doing homework and studying. Dedicate to a night every week just to put your work down and enjoy yourself.
  8. Physical exercise is one of the best stress relievers. Even if you don’t love cardio or lifting weight that is 3X heavier than you, take a half hour and just walk on the treadmill. As much as I never used to want to admit this, it acts as one of my best stress relievers. If you truly don’t have much time, drink more water it keeps you awake and engaged.
  9. Think about what you are grateful for. Even if it is not recorded in physical writing, take time to reflect and be thankful for what you have. It will put things in perspective and make you realize that having all of these opportunities really isn’t that bad.
  10. Do what makes you happy. Instead of spreading yourself thin, find your passions and follow them. Although it seems like sometimes there truly aren’t enough hours in a day, as long as you are happy and doing what you love, you could not ask for anything more.

With these steps, I hope you are able to make college one of the best, enriching experiences of your life. Take each day as a new opportunity and make the most of it.

Amanda Smith headshotAmanda is a second year student at Ohio State University majoring in Finance and Logistics and also minoring in Economics. She is involved in various organizations such as Delta Sigma Pi, a professional fraternity, BuckeyeThon, a dance marathon raising money for Nationwide Children’s Hospital here in Columbus, and also on the Leadership Council for the Business Scholars Program. In her free time Amanda loves to explore new places to eat and spend time with friends and family.