Imagine that you have a magic genie that organises your life for you. When you ask him what you need to do for today, he will go back to his vase and come back out with the things you need to do. If you ask him what you need to do for the next 30 days, he comes up with all the necessary things that need to be done by the next month. If you ask him where can you find this paper that you filed away two months ago, he will give you the information.
Without this genie, you will have to store assignments and assessments deadlines in your head, and hope that you don't forget them or your friend will remind you of them. You will be constantly worried about what to do next because you don't have a solid plan laid out. Not to mention that you will have to keep track of where you placed the myriad sheets and booklets you get from your teachers. "Now where did I leave my maths handout that I received 2 weeks ago?" You have to store a lot of information in your brain. You become stressed without even realising it. This is the hidden stress and anxiety that many people experience, because their brain never fully relaxes.
A good genie will take this cognitive load from you so you can free your mental space for more productive actions and yet remind you about the things that you need to be reminded about. Unfortunately life isn't a Disney movie. We don't have a genie to tame. However, we can create the next best thing. We can construct a system that will structure and organise our life with little maintenance effort on our part.
Now you might have already tried to implement a system before, but most likely it would have only worked for a week or two before it started to slowly fade away. Reintroducing the chaos that you tried to lock away in the first place. A common mistake is that people create overcomplicated systems, so by using it you induce more anxiety than from not using it. Thus our aim is to construct a powerful system, yet simple enough so that employing it is not a hassle. On a similar note, a good system will:
- Help you to easily find the resources you filed away
- Alleviate the cognitive load of organisation and keeping deadlines in your head
What do you need?
- A folder for each of your subjects and two extra folders.
- A digital calendar (I use outlook calendar)
- A diary
- Write down everything you need to do in your diary. Look at the previous day’s entry and also write down the stuﬀ that hasn’t been completed from that day. Whenever you have completed a task, then cross it out in the diary. This way you can accumulate a list of tasks you need to do. Check your diary every morning so you can plan out your day.
- Everytime you get a time sensitive task like an assignment, record it on your digital calendar. Make sure you check your calendar everyday, so you don’t miss out on any deadlines.
- Get a folder for each of your subjects and store your handouts and your stray sheets in the corresponding subject folder.
- Get 2 more folders and label them as ”ToBeFiled” and ”CurrentlyProcessing”
- ”ToBeFiled” should contain everything that you haven’t had a chance to put them into the proper place yet. If you are doing a math past paper and then it is the time to switch to chemistry, put your math paper into the ”CurrentlyProcessing” folder so you can easily ﬁnd it later when you resume your math studies. Whenever you are switching from one context to another, place the materials from the original context into the ”CurrentlyProcessing” folder.
- At the end of each day go through your ”ToBeFiled” folder and sort them out the best you can so it doesn’t pile up. Nothing makes you want to procrastinate more than a whole pile of paper waiting to be sorted out.
Being organised is one of the keys to HSC success. You won't suddenly be organised the day you implement this system, but if you stick with it, you will reap the benefits from having a system where everything has some place to go. If you want to learn how to fight procrastination, then check out this: How to dig the grave for your procrastination
Last edited by envlam; 11 Jan 2017 at 7:38 PM.
Thanks again for this helpful guide
As a 'Year 11'er' this year, I'll be (hopefully) implementing this early on :P Thanks!
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