3 Ways to get more Organised as a Mermaid
Okay I know the title is slightly misleading. This post is not about mythical sea creatures with long hair and fish tails (as much as I adore them and wish I could be one of them). It is about… University Life… dun dun dun.
The phrase that instantly popped into my head when I thought about starting Uni again was: drowning in work. It always happens to me and many of my friends and acquaintances.
We all know the symptoms. The first week starts off with a bang and it seems like we’re all a little bit unprepared and awestruck that the Lecturers are not spoon feeding us anymore. They just chuck buckets of work at us, seemingly at random. This often leads us to fighting the workload and flapping around from shock, not getting very far, and eventually becoming overwhelmed. Panic and stress has set in. Procrastination assists in keeping us above the water every now and then but the water level rises with every passing week. We can only try to tread water for so long to keep our heads above the waves, before we give up and float away, dreaming of distractions.
Should I do the work now? Oh, never mind it’s only due in a few weeks. I’ll just watch an entire 10 seasons of that series I’ve been meaning to catch up on and then go out with my friends…
The first week of anything has always been a critical period of determining my future outlook and behaviour for the duration of the new challenge.
During the first week of uni or school there are usually many challenges, even if we don’t notice them all. We may forget to write down important things that should be done (even if they don’t necessarily count for marks) and before too long, there’s no more time to catch up on all the material. Your brain needs more time than the night before a test or exam to fully retain the information. I have also received marks on assignments that I knew I could have done so much better on, if only I had made more time for it…
I’m perpetually unorganised. Until this year I decided to stop being so cluttered. I wanted to clear my mind and my room and my life in general. There’s no time like the present after all (the past and future are always just thoughts).
So it is now my mission to become a mermaid in the ocean of my life. Living in the water and not trying to escape it anymore.
I have started this by organizing various aspects of my life and setting out some plans and goals. My list looks like the following (in no particular order):
- Goal setting.
I spent a few minutes thinking about my goals for the future (long term goals) and how they can be broken down into my goals for the present and slightly nearer future (short term goals). I broke it down into various categories to make it a bit easier.
This is how I determined a few of my goals, which I then broke down a little bit further.
- Getting organized.
In my room:
I am in the process of organising my closet from scratch and everything else in my room is being designated a place.
On my desk:
I hardly ever used my old desk (other than to store more of my clutter) but I am determined to keep my new one organised when it arrives next weekend.
A good working environment at home is really helpful when distinguishing when it is time for work or time to relax. It is too easy to slip into bad habits when you watch movies and do your work in the same space. Having a set area makes it easier for me to be stricter with myself about when it is time to work.
On my phone:
Ah my dear cell phone. The beginning of the end. (I recall being a much more dedicated student before this nifty little device decided to butt in to my life and become permanently attached to my palm.)
I deleted all of the apps that I don’t use and then organized the remaining ones into the following:
- Important for life (Calendar, Clock, Weather, Find iPhone, Uber, Calculator, Timetable…)
- Important for my personal goals (MyFItnessPal, Visualisation, WordPress, Scribd, TED, Forest, Evernote…)
- Social media – use less often (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, Instagram, Netflix…)
- Games – stop using (Candy Crush, Dragon City, Farmville, Gardenscapes, Pokemon GO)
In my backpack:
I have my diary (for all Uni related homework and assignments), my planner (for all important due dates and appointments), my class notebook, a pencil case, sometimes my laptop and all necessary electronics, my wallet, gum, hand sanitiser, tissues, lip ice, whatever else I need.
In my head:
Less clutter in my life results in a less cluttered mermaid brain.
After deciding on my goals and being a bit more organized I made a few lists of things to try to complete every: Day, Week, Month and Year. This gives you a map of how to implement all of your short term goals in a step by step manner. You could have ‘drink 2 litres of water’ on your daily list, then have ‘cook a healthy meal’ on your weekly list, which all work towards your ultimate goal of being healthier at the end of the year.
After that I made a Stop Doing List (SDL). I find it easier to start implementing healthy behaviour, only after the unhealthy behaviour has ceased. You could say that you want to ‘stop playing video games so often’, and thus you have created some free time in your schedule to complete something like ‘exercise for 20 minutes’. The SDL can also include things like ‘stop being impatient and sarcastic’ (these happen to all be on my lists).
I may write more posts about this kind of topic considering University is a large portion of my everyday life. This has just been a brief overview of how I am becoming a more organized mermaid and learning to breathe in the workload-waters.