Today I want to share with you a great blog post by a fellow blogger – Veronica Merry from Merry Coach.
Veronica shares strategies and information to help those who’ve decided to study despite having an already busy life.
In this post, Veronica explains that “planning how our study is going to be factored into our already busy lives is really important to passing university assessment”.
Planning can seem like a boring task, especially to those who prefer to go with the flow. You may also think that you’re too busy to waste time planning.
But you need to remember that our most precious resource is time. If you don’t identify your commitments so you can plan our study around them you’ll find time runs away from you. Suddenly you have two days to write an essay but the house is a mess, you have to go to work and you have a family event you cannot miss.
If you use the Merry Coach strategies you’ll feel less stressed, achieve more and be able to identify more time to spend on things you really care about such as having fun with family and friends.
“Planning and prioritisation are the keys to passing assignments and exams” – Veronica Merry
Let’s accept this fact and discover some strategies to help.
Veronica shares 5 strategies to help you get organised and achieve studying success.
1) Create a calendar to record all your goals for the semester – not just your studying goals but those for work and family and friends
2) Add all your due dates and lectures
3) Word backwards and fill gaps with study sessions
4) Assign a priority level to each goal so you know which are the most important
5) Review your calendar regularly so you know it’s realistic.
This post lays out an easy-to-follow plan to feel more organised and achieve more in your studies.
I love the idea of using a big calendar as you not only find gaps to schedule your study but you can also find gaps to organise fun. Look at your calendar and create some space after you submit an essay. Plan a trip or an evening out or a massage for yourself to give you something to look forward to.
You may also find a recent blog post of mine helpful – 5 Ways to Prioritise Your Studies.
It’s important to discover various possible strategies to create your own blue print for organising your life.
I now want to share with you an additional strategy to Veronica’s list.
Once you’ve planned your high-level goals and activities using her methods it’s important to also organise your daily and weekly to do lists.
I use a website called Trello to make and organise my daily and weekly to do lists. It’s simple to use and completely free!
Below is what my Trello board looked like the week before my final exam. I split my board into 3 lists – “to do”, “doing” and “done”.
On Sundays I try to spend some time adding all the tasks I need to complete the following week to the list on the left – “to do”. You can add coloured labels to categorise your tasks – I have categories for university, personal, work and business.
Then I keep my board near me that week – either on my laptop or using the free Trello app on my phone (available for iTunes and Android).
When I start a new task I drag it across to the “doing” column. Once it’s completed I move it across to “done”. It’s a great feeling to see the right-hand list get longer! The ideal method is to try to only have one or two tasks in the “doing” list at any one time, so you can keep focused and prevent multi-tasking.
Now I know you might be someone who prefers making to do lists on paper instead. Well, a physical Trello board is very easy to make too. All you need to do is create 3 columns on some card or paper, and then use sticky notes for each task that you can move between columns.
If you’re like me, then you get an odd satisfaction from crossing items off on a to do list. Well this is a similar method that allows you to separate tasks you still need to start, ones that are in progress and ones that you have completed.
I hope this blog post has given you some ideas for how you can plan and prioritise your studies.
If you know someone who’d benefit from this blog post I would be so grateful if you could share it with them.