Tag Archive: schedule


Getting Organized

As I flip through the TV channels on mute and listen to the clock tick quickly, I’m struck by the chaos that I’m living in.  Clothes, books and loose papers are strewn across my unmade bed.  My backpack is stuffed with crumpled-up handouts, notes and newspapers.  Although I’ve made it to each class today, I have no idea what my assignments entail for this week.

It’s time for some (early) spring cleaning.

If a messy, disorderly room is making you equally stressed out, look no further.  There are plenty of easy ways to get yourself – and your life – organized in mere minutes.

Get a planner or Google calendar. I literally can’t imagine how I’d function without my planner.  It contains every detail of my packed schedule, from classes to meetings to cocktails.    There’s nothing worse than forgetting about a club meeting, coffee date or deadline.  Putting commitments in writing, whether they’re required or with friends, will prevent you from realizing when you have to be somewhere across campus and have only five minutes to get there.

Organize your coursework. For the past few weeks of class, I’ve been taking notes for all seven of my classes on whatever paper I’ve had on hand.  My Spanish notes are in the same notebook as those from Political Science, and who knows where my News Writing notes have gone.  This system may work for a while, but when midterms roll around, it will be nearly impossible to compile all notes, papers and old quizzes. It’s essential to have a separate notebook and/or binder for each class.  You’ll be so much happier come exam time when cramming in Davis is as simple as opening a notebook and buckling down.  Though it may not be the most appealing pastime, it sounds much more appealing than riffling through knee-high stacks of papers in desperate search of the first weeks’ notes and your (unopened?) textbook.

Keep things neat. Studies have shown that it’s easier to get work done in tidy spaces.  Messes are distracting, stressful and all-around unpleasant.  Taking a few minutes to make your bed, hang up clothes and organize your desk can make studying so much more comfortable and relaxing. This applies to your computer, too.  Clean out and organize your inbox.  It will keep you from losing track of e-mails you were supposed to respond to but forgot about.  As mind-numbing as it sounds, it will help out in the long run.

Make a schedule and stick to it. It’s so easy to put off a night’s readings to hang out with friends, watch TV or catch up on sleep.  But when this happens repeatedly, you’ll find yourself hundreds of pages behind in multiple classes with one night before a test. Set goals for each day, even if it means getting up a few minutes early to read some extra pages.  It will make life so much less stressful.  Plus, you’ll be less embarrassed when the professor asks you a question in class and you can actually answer it.

Getting organized is easier than you’d think.  I just bought notebooks and binders at Student Stores.  Tonight I’m going to print out my syllabi, write down my assignments for this week and catch up on the reading I haven’t done.

…Or maybe I’ll put that off to another night.

-Georgia Cavanaugh

Resolutions 101

2011 is here. We are over halfway through January….have you made a New Year’s Resolution yet?  Or are you still trying to think of a goal that you can, well, actually commit to? Making a resolution is hard, and sticking to it is even harder, especially for a college student. Personally, I love New Year’s resolutions. What better way to begin a brand new year than with a newfound determination to improve yourself for the better as a person?

I’ve listed five steps that I’ve used for the past few years that are guaranteed to help you choose a resolution that is both bold and possible.

1) Want V.S. Need…or Want & Need? Make a resolution that is both pragmatic and desirable. If you want to start jogging at 7am in the morning but you aren’t a morning person, then what’s the point? Morning exercise is ideal, of course, but if you don’t like getting up early then maybe nighttime bike rides are better. Make a plan to do homework in between classes instead of waiting until after dinner, and then your evening will be free! The best resolution gives you material benefits as well as personal happiness. Besides, you’ll be much more likely to stick with a goal that you personally enjoy working towards as opposed to a goal that you don’t.

2) Be Realistic. You want to lose thirty pounds, eat all organic foods, and learn to cook in a single year? My dear friend, although I admire your fervor, it takes a lot of work to do each of those things…either you’ll have a mental breakdown by August from trying to do everything at once, or you’ll lose steam. Fast. Your resolution needs to be realistic and attainable. Why not aim to just lose ten pounds? If you’re feeling particularly bold or motivated, you could tie cooking to your weight loss resolution and work towards cooking on the weekends instead of eating processed foods or take-out, which already cuts your calories by a lot if you learn to ditch the butter and oil. Bottom line is, don’t get too greedy with your goals without considering the work that must be done to reach them.

3) Be Specific. If you decide to “be healthier,” what exactly does that mean? Do you want to lose weight, start a daily exercise routine, eat organic food, or what? You can take action in so many different ways in order to “be healthier,” but if you try to focus on too many smaller goals you will lose sight of everything because it will simply be too much.

4) Make a Plan. Let’s say your goal for 2011 is to “avoid procrastination by doing your work when you say you will.” After a while, though, it’s way too easy to simply…give up. Facebook, Twitter, and CNN News are calling to you. By using month-by-month progress checks, you can make sure that you stick with your resolution. For each month, add a new mini goal to your resolution. For instance, in January you may start out easy by simply telling yourself to do work when you get tired of procrastinating (yes, that’s possible). Then, by February, perhaps you’ll create a daily schedule to list what hours to do homework and what hours to surf the ‘Net. Each small step will slowly become a habit.

5) Share It. There’s nothing better than sharing your resolution with a good friend who has a similar goal in mind. It’s best if your friend has a resolution that is slightly different from yours; otherwise, a friendly partnership may become a major competition. What’s great about working towards a resolution together is that you’re able to provide each other with healthy doses of moral support, constant motivation, and positive peer pressure. Plus, it will bring your friendship up to a whole new level that is even more meaningful and enjoyable than it was before.

-Wendy Lu