How do you organize your time when you have lots to do but little structure in your day? This is the age old question for college students who need routine but don’t necessarily know how to create it. I always told my students: Use a planner! I don’t care if it’s electronic or on paper, but it must be written down somewhere. Put in all your classes, assignments, club meetings and to-do items. If you see you have 20 minutes in between two events, then put in something like, “call mom”, in that little window. It helps to stay on top of things.
Not your traditional to-do list
As a full-time mother and a college consultant, I have started to think differently about the planner and to do lists. I am a big fan of Jerry Seinfeld’s Don’t Break the Chain, Gretchen Rubin’s book Better Than Before and bullet journaling. My new to-do list is an excel spreadsheet with lots of daily tasks that must be done in small amounts every single day so that no one task or project is too overwhelming. It keeps me motivated in a day full of to-do’s with little structure but lots of interruptions. Every item needs a check every day or a big X if it really just doesn’t need to be done.
Here’s a sample of what this habit tracker and to-do list might look like for a student:
|Class 1: Math|
|Class 2: Science|
|Class 3: English|
|Class 4: Soc Science|
They say the things we do every day are more important the things we do every once in a while. So think about what’s on your daily to-do list and how your big projects can be broken down.
Would this work for you? Why or why not? Is it helpful? Send me a note and let me know!