We start with so much motivation when we hear about a new project or assignment and tell ourselves that this time will be different. This time we won’t leave the assignment to the last few moments to start and finish it. This time we will follow a schedule and complete little parts over time rather than hastily hack something together at the last moment. It’s something that we all do, plan to do this next assignment in an organised way but inevitably leave it until the last moment. It’s practically the story of my life (don’t tell my lecturers!).
Last time we spoke about how to stay motivated and make progress. This time we discuss the value of daily planning. The key is visibility. If we aren’t reminded that we have a task to do then we quickly forget about it until the due date approaches. The saying goes “out of sight, out of mind”. This is where the daily planner shows its true value.
Daily planning is a technique used to plan for upcoming events. Examples of daily planners are diaries, calendars and to-do lists. Diaries and calendars allow you to visually see what tasks you have upcoming, and plan for them accordingly. This simple act of visually reminding yourself of upcoming tasks can be the difference between an organised, calm experience at university, or a stressful, late-night-riddled time.
So what can you use to write down upcoming events? The university supplies students with the student diary, which also includes term dates, campus maps, information on different university support services, and much more. If you don’t already have a student diary, make sure you pick one up from the bookstore or student experience office.
Other examples of daily planners include personal diaries. You can get these from Officeworks or Kikki K if you want something a little more stylish. And for those more technologically inclined, there are many online sites that offer planning services. Online daily planners include Outlook (Free to university students via Office 365), Google Calendar, and apps like iProcrastinate. All these services are cloud-based, meaning you can access them from all your devices.
Daily planning requires very little effort and can save you a whole load of stress and late nights, and it doesn’t take very long at all to set up and maintain. Next time we will discuss the uses of to-do lists, and how to write them up in an efficient and effective manner. Remember to check out the book store and student experience office for your very own (and free) student diary.