It's Time To Get Organised!

This can't be a blog for student nurses without a post on this at some point! With it coming towards the start of a new year, the time when everyone plans to get organise and set goals for themselves, I thought this post would come at completely the right time. Now most student nurses I know are not just juggling their academic bits with uni, most students I know are juggling their academic work as well as placement, a part-time job, a social life and have some sort of down time!

I have great admiration for anyone that can be a student without having to write anything down and just manage to remember it all in their head. I am semi like that, I can remember some but not quite everything I need to get done in a short I tend to only remember the REALLY important stuff! To be able to remember everything I need to, I use a combination of things to help my stay on track and organised, otherwise I find myself getting jobs done but getting distracted by things like 'oh that bookshelf needs tidying' or 'that pile of clothes or the hoovering really needs doing right now!'.

So every so often I seem to change the way I organise myself a bit, one year I had a Filofax, one year I had a separate book for all the different things. That being said I seem pretty content with the system I am using at the moment and not to jinx it but I probably won't be changing it for a while. Now to understand the way I organise myself, I should probably tell you a little bit about my everyday life, so as you will have probably more than guessed I am a nursing student which means I have to balance all my academic assignments as well as practical assignments (OSCE) with assessments in practice and plain old placement. On top of that I also get to balance a part-time job as well as agency work as a health care assistant with attempting to see my friends and family at some point during the week. For this I use a combination of items to keep myself organised, a planner, a to-do list and sometimes my phone/iPad.

The main way I stay organised is through my planner/diary/whatever you wanna call it! I have had one every year since I was in year 7 in high school and I became more into organising since going into sixth form 5-ish years ago, I have become attached and can't live without it.

I must also add I love using colour, from being organised to studying for anything uni related. So why would my planner be any different hey?! If you have read any of my other posts regarding my university modules or organisation, you probably know that I assign a colour to each module I complete. This makes it really easy for knowing what subjects I have work that needs completing by just opening up my planner and just looking at the colours. As you can see I write the module code in the assigned colour and then what I need to do for it in black to help break up the colour, for example if I proof-read an essay for clinical care module I would put it in as 'NURS220 - Proof-read essay'. For this you can use any type of coloured pens, I personally prefer to use the Papermate Flair pens as they write like felt tip pens and don't bleed through the pages in my diary!

I recently seem to have got into the habit of sitting down every Sunday and planning my next week. One of my favourite parts of my planner is at the beginning there is a monthly planner, anyone from the UK will know how uncommon that is! This tends to be the first section I start to put things into like shifts at work and placement as well as any appointments that I might have coming up. This monthly section is then what I use to fill out my weekly planner and after I've put all the basic things into my weekly planner, I pretty much use the rest of the space on each day as mini to-do lists for chores or splitting up assignments so that they don't seem like so much of a task!

If you might not want to use a planner you can always use just a plain own notebook or pad or one of these notepads especially for to-do lists. I got this one from Accessorize, but you could basically use any lined or plain (if you prefer) paper and just write all your top things your need to get done. I have one of these for all my assignments that are due per assessment periods, which feels brill when you get to tick things off on the list it feels so rewarding! You can colour code with to-do lists as well if you want to, plus if you're using a small notebook it will fit in practically any bag! 

Another option that works for some people is to do it all electronically, whether its by your phone, ipad, ipod or laptop, whatever works for you. There are a million and one apps nowadays that can organise practically every part of your life from calendars to to-do lists to organising finances, even organising your chores! Now if you are one of these people that this works for....go for it!!! I got through flits of using to-do lists on my phone but I much prefer using the old fashioned paper versions and having it there in my hands and being able to actually cross something off my list when I've done it, not gonna lie it does gives me a sense of achievement to do that. I'm not gonna lie online planning does have its good points, all you need is your phone, no need to take a bag with you just for your planner, even though I'm betting you'll probably 20 other things in your bag like me. You can still colour code everything on your phone and everything's there at the touch of a button; birthdays, events, parties etc. The only thing that puts me off is that when battery goes that's it, I know not a big deal if you charge your phone as you should but if it works for you and is easier go for it! 

Whats your go to way of keeping yourself organising with everything that comes along with doing your nursing degree or just your life in general?

Danielle Levy

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