Written by QCMHA member, Tara Matin-Nejad
The most important tool I’ve learned to utilize throughout my time in University is organization. Without organizing my time for assignments, readings, and other deliverables, stress levels can rise quickly, and burnout can hit harder than expected.
As a result of this fear of burnout, I’ve learned to manage and organize my time in a few ways that can allow me to get my work done efficiently and still have time to be with friends and relax. For QCMHA’s blog post this week, I want to share the three ways that I manage my time, and hopefully I can help you with some of these tips as we pass the mid-point in our first online semester.
1. Weekly Planning
I find setting out a plan for the week is the most important step in trying to get my assignments done. I use my notes app on my laptop for this, and I write out week-by-week what is due. This includes assignments, readings, or any quizzes I have. You can check what you’ve done as the days go by and see what you have to do for the rest of the week.
I also like to map out my assignments and deadlines on an excel sheet. I first saw this method on a TikTok, and I thought it was a great method, so I decided to try it out. Essentially, you write out every deadline you have on an excel sheet, and include columns of the due date, class, assignment type, assignment name, and the status of completion. You can colour-code each assignment type, and sort by due date to see everything mapped out for the semester. As time progresses, it’s satisfying to see how much you’ve completed in the semester and map out what you have left to do.
2. Daily Planning
Going along with planning out my due dates in my note’s app, I also like to plan out my week on a day-by-day basis the same way. Essentially, you write out every day of the week, and then make a bullet point of what you want to accomplish each day, and include the events going on that day. I will include anything I have going on in the day on the to do list: whether it be grocery shopping, working on an assignment, or writing out when I have classes during the day. I find this can be really helpful to plan out when you want to do work and helps me stay productive and motivated throughout each day.
3. Using a Calendar
Once again, this method relates to my spreadsheet and weekly planning. At the beginning of each semester, I like to go through each syllabus and add all of the deadlines in my calendar, colour-coding quizzes, assignments, and major exams. I also add each of my class times and with this semester being online, I highlight which classes are live ones that I go to and which ones are not. This also helps me map out both my week, and semester as a whole to stay on top of my work.
While these tips are relatively simple ways to organize your time, they can make a huge difference in the long run. As we move onto the rest of the semester and into the next, I would highly suggest trying out some of these methods, and I hope you can feel less stressed as a result.