Classes for this university semester are in full swing, so keeping on top of workload and looking after yourself is a top priority in order to ensure you meet deadlines and stay sane while doing so.
Here are my top four tips to help get through this week of uni and smash your long-term goals.
A huge portion of our lives has been transitioned online and there’s basically an app that can do anything and everything. Incorporating systems to work in your favour for productivity and organisation is a great way to free up a large amount of time.
I recently downloaded Pocketbook after months of budget tracking on excel. Being on top of my spending and saving is a huge priority for me but my makeshift spreadsheet was taking up so much of my time - logging, calculating and reporting. Now, Pocketbook tracks my spending behind the scenes, categorises the purchase and tells me exactly how much I have left to spend in order to meet my goals.
For my note taking and assessment writing needs, Google Docs is a life saver. As long as I have an internet connection, there is no worry about losing work, which we have all experienced through other platforms at literally THE WORST TIME EVER. Everything you do is saved into the cloud automatically and Google Drive allows you to organise your files into folders - meaning when it comes to writing essays or studying for an exam, all your notes are in one place. Oh and the to-do list built into the Google Suite is pretty great to use too!
Save your pennies
I’ve lived on a uni student budget for the last four years with no consistent income at all, meaning planning for the future was pretty difficult. Casual and part-time jobs came and went and I didn’t always have control over these situations. My old self would live week to week and assume money would keep flowing in so when a spanner was thrown into the works I’d be pretty caught out.
But now, along with my handy new budgeting app, I’ve really amped-up my savings goals.
Spend some time thinking about an attainable goal and work out how you’re going to get there. I have found that setting a goal too high left me feeling down about my slow progress and led me to give up all-together.
Try setting smaller milestones and once you’ve reached it, give yourself a little pat on the back and set the next one.
Disconnect to reconnect
Social media has been shown to increase levels of anxiety and depression, as well as reduce sleep quality and self-esteem. I know it’s impossible to go cold-turkey but minimising use could have huge benefits to your quality of life.
I recently installed an app called Freedom on my laptop and phone which blocks specific websites and apps for a predetermined length of time. For an hour or two, a few times a day, I turn on Freedom and really concentrate on some other tasks I need to be doing - like cleaning, reading, socialising or working. For an avid procrastinator and a self-diagnosed social media addict, it works a charm to prohibit mindless scrolling. Your time is so valuable, so just start to become aware where it may be getting wasted.
Tidy your workspace
An insta-worthy office space isn’t just super great for the gram, it’s good for your productivity and mood too. A cluttered environment has been shown to restrict your brain’s capacity to focus and process information. Keep on top of those old coffee cups, miscellaneous paper and wandering pens. Small habitual changes like tidying as you go will keep your mess at ease and leave you to concentrate on the things that really matter.
University, even without the added stresses of work and life, can be a really full-on time in your life. Be aware of how you work best and keep techniques simple to stay organised and on-top of your work load. If ever you find yourself struggling, your university has services to help - just start by saying hello.