Simple ways to organise your thoughts

Let’s be real: if you are a university student, your life is hectic – and there is no way around the chaos. However, there is definitely a way to get it all mapped out. During the first two years, your calendar is full of society meet-ups, pub quizzes, pre-drinks and club nights… oh, and the course deadlines. In the last two years, you keep track of the upcoming careers fairs, cleaning days and monthly meet-ups with your dissertation supervisor. Fun times, huh.

In today’s rapidly moving world, every minute, every detail, every moment counts. And good time management is the answer to all your struggles. Whatever it is that makes you feel more organised and less anxious – listography, bullet points, coloured calendars, mind maps etc. – make use of it now!

You fancy treating your flatmate to a ‘cosy wine-and-dine’ but taking a notebook to the local Tesco with a list of ingredients seems a bit too old-school? Instead, use bullet points on the Notes app on your phone or set an alarm/reminder to inform you of the specific ingredients and the places you can grab them from on your route home.

Getting lost around the university campus every time you are running late to class? Make a fun map of the area and colour code each day of the week in accordance with your study schedule. This will also keep you prepared and motivated each time you glance at it in the morning!

When was the last time you checked how much money was left on your bank account after buying all of the ‘new-in’ range on ASOS? Keeping track of your finances during your university years is a big deal – especially when the non-stop hunt for a part-time job brings no success. For a clear visual representation, create a table to see where most of your money is going. Simple weekly bookkeeping won’t hurt and using a programme like Microsoft Excel to track your outgoings can help you budget your monthly allowance and control where and when you spend your money. This process also helps to avoid those unexpected transactions that can easily slip your mind if you don’t keep them on record.

Constantly getting overwhelmed by all of the things you want to achieve in life? It’s okay, we all can relate. It’s a normal thing for a student to be thinking deeply about their future or soaking up ‘warm’ memories of the past. The problem is: you can’t really keep up with the present. Letting go of your thoughts and giving them a tangible form means you can visualise your future goals and make the present much less stressful.

Sit down, take a blank piece of paper and your favourite pen. Concentrate on your train of thought and start scribbling down every word or phrase that comes to mind. Take a look at it afterwards and see what words or ideas surprised you the most, highlight those that are at the forefront of your mind, and don’t sweat the small stuff that you were focusing on beforehand. In terms of the bigger future plans that require more time/planning, make a bucket list. This can be a fun activity to do with friends and it separates your long-term goals from the ones that you need to achieve that coming week.

Good luck!

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