I would like to start by pointing out that everyone is different and everyone has different ways of doing things. You may not agree with my tips but it’s vital that you know what works for you and what doesn’t. Kay, here we go!
1) Write notes instead of typing them- writing notes helps you to remember them better. Also if you write instead of type there’s less chance of you being distracted by Facebook on your laptop.
2) Record notes so you don’t forget/fall asleep- I love recording my notes. It’s like having a PVR for lectures. You can listen to the recordings whenever you want as well as have a copy of precisely what the lecturer is looking for in essays and projects.
3) Take a rough draft first- Nobody has time for a perfect set of notes especially when you’re in the lecture. Write a rough set of notes that you are able to understand. You can clarify it later and make it look pretty. My notes always start off as a bunch of illegible words and some very neatly written reminders of how I want to sleep. No that’s not a joke.
4) Use colour- when you’re rewriting your notes use colour to make themes stand out. For my Human Resources class I had two different colours for the work that was tested as a question and the work tested as an essay.
5) Make sure that YOU understand- whether your notes are plain or coloured, neat or horrifying the most important thing is that you’re able to understand them. These are your notes and when exam time rolls around you’re the one who needs to be able to understand them.
What is your go-to guide for writing notes?
Few things irritate me more than having a deadline or appointment jump out at me from nowhere. It makes me feel like my whole world is upside-down and I need to take back control of my life. Here are a few tips to help you never miss an important event or date.
1) Buy a planner- I love Typo planners but they’re a bit too expensive for me. Instead I use an ordinary dated diary as well as my cellphone to keep track of dates.
2) Write down everything- First start with concrete events that you know won’t change such as birthdays or your weekly night out. Then enter in important dates such as deadlines for a project.
3) Plan a week in advance- I like to think of myself as pretty organised. Those dates that I miss are usually family events that for some reason my mother doesn’t tell me about (am I not family? Maybe not). To compensate for her serious error, I ask her well in advance if she/me/we has any plans for the week ahead. If she gives me an event we need to attend, I list it down. If not I simply plan my week around that.
4) Use your planner on a regular basis- You could have the most gorgeous (Typo) planner but it doesn’t matter if you’re not using it. Be sure to check your planner often to keep on track with dates and to add in new ones.
How do you keep track of everything? Have you ever forgotten an important date? (I forgot my parents’ anniversary once). Let me know below.
My words to live by are “Work hard, party harder”. This is excellent advice especially if you’re in college. But how do you manage to be productive when you’re just not feeling it? Here are a few tried and tested tips to help you be as productive as possible,
1) Keep a constant routine- have a set time for sleeping and waking up. Try as much as possible to stick to this because it reduces the possibility of you falling asleep in class. Yes, we all want to sleep in class because it’s boring but that’s not very productive.
2) Pay attention in class. Always record the lecture- when I first started sleeping in class, it was totally accidental. First my mind would wander off, then I’d try to rest my eyes and then I would jerk awake. If you know you’re tired/lazy, record the lecture to listen to later. This works especially well for assignments since you can go back and play the recording to find out precisely what is expected of you. Also when you’re actually listening to the lecturer it’s easier to remember what’s being covered in class.
3) Write things down as soon as possible- use your school calender plus your syllabi (is that the plural of syllabus? I’m not entirely sure…) and note down important dates such as tests, projects, when campus closes and reopens as well as the last day for changing your courses. This will a) help you to see important dates and b) you’ll know when you’re busy with a pile of essays or tests.
4) Set your own deadlines- if you have your own deadlines preferably a day or two earlier than the actual due date you’ll get work done faster. You may also have enough time to get a tutor to edit your essay or cover last-minute concepts with your lecturer.
5) Start work as soon as you get it- I don’t mean write the essay or read 3 chapters for that test. Do something small just to make a tiny dent in your workload. List points for your essay or skim a chapter in the textbook. It makes things easier if you start off small. You’ll eventually be able to tackle the entire essay/textbook.
Adulting sucks. There’s decisions to be made, budgets you need to follow and errands to run. I thought being at college meant putting these things off for a while but I was so wrong! College is just adulting on a minor scale (Sorta like Adulting 101 instead of Adulting 301). Here are the tips and tricks I use to help me get everything done.
1) Invest in a planner of some sort- I prefer using a school diary but your cellphone works just as well. The trick here is to actually use whatever item you choose to keep you organised. If it’s your phone, enter in deadlines and important dates. The same applies to planners.
2) Write down everything- I mean every single thing. You need to buy your mum a gift? Write it down. Accounts needing to be paid? Write it down. You don’t want anything slipping by you so write it down. You’ll be able to see everything that needs your attention.
3) Get it done!- I use Any.Do to keep a daily to-do list. It allows you to divide items into categories as well as decide when you are going to do it (today, tomorrow or eventually). The great thing about Any.Do is that it sends out a reminder daily for you to update your to-do list. You’ll never forget an errand ever again.
4) Don’t Overdo It- There is only so much you can do (before your TV shows start calling) so make sure that you don’t tire yourself out. Start with doing three items on your to-do list per day. If you feel up to tackle more then you can. Be sure to list items in order of importance so you can the most relevant things done first.
5) Say No- Sometimes our lives are busier than they need to be. Sometimes you just need to say no to things. Last year I was falling behind on my class, my blog and my role as a community moderator and beta tester for Her Campus. It hurt me but I had to drop out as a community moderator and slow down my blogging in order to focus on my schoolwork. The decision hurt me at first but it made focusing so much easier.
What are your tips for getting things done? What apps do YOU rely on? I’d love to hear from you below!