Being in college is tough! From the long hours, 8ams, homework, tests, and projects, it’s a lot. However, our student org leaders know how to get things done! Not only do they have to deal with the stress that comes from classes, but they are also involved at UNT to make your experience here better! To know their secrets on how to stay on top of everything, we have put together a list of tips on how to stay productive during your time here at UNT.
1. Having a Calendar, Planner, or To-Do List
“I do this method of double. So I’ll write something in my planner and then I’ll also put it in my phone and set reminders,” Kimberly Berry, Graduate Student Council official said. “There is no way you can be a student and in an organization that you’re busy in, and not have a planner. You have to write down what you’re doing and where you have to be, or you will forget.”
“I live and breathe by my Apple Calendar, everything that I do in my day to day has to be on my calendar. If it’s not on there, it’s not gonna happen,” Muhammad Kara, SGA President said. “I use it constantly just to stay organized. Whenever it comes to school or my personal life, I have to put everything on my calendar.”
“I use my Outlook Calendar to outline things that I need to take care of at work, things I need to take care of at school, and then personal things, like appointments. If you can see it visually then you’re able to know what’s coming up for the week,” Preston Falconer, UPC Vp of Membership said. “To-do lists are definitely something I utilize because I’m one of those people where if it’s not written down, I’m not going to remember to do it. Checking things off my to-do lists is actually pretty helpful in terms of making sure I get things done.”
“I allocate amounts of time where I’m going to be at work, doing work, and then going somewhere else, like the library or back to my apartment to do homework, ” Kara said. “I’m a big advocate that I’m a student first and then everything else will follow.”
“I’ll prioritize what’s more important at the moment and make sure it’s done before the day is over,” Berry said. “So it does result in late nights or early mornings, but that’s the only way to balance it all, without one slacking, to do your best in both.”
3. Set Timers
“If I know that I need to clean my room, but I also know that I have to study or go to a meeting later, I’ll put my phone on 30 minutes,” Berry said. “Once that 30 minutes is up, I know I have to move on to something else. It’s pretty helpful, it makes you stay on top of your time.”
When you know you only have a small amount of time to do something, the urge to scroll through social media or watch tv seems less enticing. With timers, you can decide how much time each task needs. By doing this, you won’t spend extra time on something that could be done quickly. Instead that time could go towards something that could require more attention or effort.
4. Create Deadlines
By creating deadlines for yourself, you can say goodbye to procrastination, rushing, and the panic that comes over you when you open up Canvas and realize that the assignment you’ve been putting off is due that night. Not only will your assignment be on time, but you will be able to proofread and produce quality work.
“I give myself deadlines. I see what the actual deadline is first and then I give myself my own deadline, which is about two days in advance of that actual deadline,” Kara said. “If something was due Friday, I would give myself a deadline of Wednesday. I take those last two days to double and triple check everything and then submit when I need to.”
5. Self Care
“I make sure that I’m taking care of myself. If I’m not getting enough sleep or eating at the right times, because sometimes it happens, you get overloaded with work, school, and your orgs,” Falconer said. “But, you need to take care of yourself. If you need to take a nap, take that nap. If you need to step out of the office or step away from studying, take a five-minute break or stretch. Definitely do that, because if you don’t have the right mind to complete the work, it’s not going to get done.”
“Seclusion is something I do sometimes. I’m also a TA, so I teach as well. I get away from the TA space and from campus for a little bit and stay in my room to try and get away from everyone, to get what I have to get done, done,” Berry said. “Sometimes you have to recollect yourself and say “What do I need to do? What do I need to get done?”
Everyone is different, you just need to find the method that works best for you. If you want to stay productive and join an organization, do it! UNT has a wide selection of organizations that have different sectors or committees you can choose from that would best fit your schedule. “I definitely think it’s worth it to not just be a student but to also have a hand in something on campus as well,” Berry said. “It just makes you feel more productive and like you’re giving back to the university.”