College is a stressful and chaotic time in life, and it can be hard sometimes to keep track of class, work, and social schedules. If you’re anything like me, keeping a planner became a necessity for keeping a planned, organized life where I could actually accomplish all my goals. I’m easily overwhelmed and anxious, and I quickly learned that the best way to manage my stress was by using a planner to keep track of my life.
The biggest benefit of keeping a planner is that it helps you keep track of all your responsibilities. If you have a bunch of homework assignments to finish or different work shifts to cover, keeping a planned schedule in a cute planner can be a great way to help organize your thoughts (and your life). It’s hard to forget about your math homework when you have it written down in a place you check regularly and can mark off. I like to go through the syllabus at the beginning of the year and write all my major assignments down ahead of time so I don’t have to experience the end-of-semester last-minute anxiety.
Another great reason for keeping a planner is the simplicity of color coding and organization. One of the best ways I found for keeping a planned school schedule in my planner was by color coding each class. If you make English blue, Math green, Biology red, and work yellow, it becomes much easier to keep track of what is due where. Plus, you can weigh the importance of the assignments. If you’re doing well in Calculus, then the 5 point homework isn’t as prioritized as your 50 point English paper. By color-coding your planner, you’re able to better organize your life in a way your brain and stress can easily understand.
One of the hardest things about college and real-world schedules is finding time for a social life amidst the busy day-to-day routine. Keeping a planner can be a great way to help coordinate with your friends more easily, allowing you to share your whole month’s schedule easily with your pals. By keeping a planned, written-out schedule for the whole month, you can much more easily see when you have free time and when you’re absolutely slammed. And while it may turn out that there isn’t any availability for a girl’s night in July, you can start planning for one in August and block it off in your calendar ahead of time.
One of my favorite things about keeping a planner is the productivity and pride I feel when I can physically see my progress by marking off events and assignments. Nothing feels better than slashing off stressful assignments, and keeping a planned account of all my shifts and classwork makes it so visually appealing when I watch all those “To Do”s being marked off. Marking off as you go really puts into perspective how much you have accomplished, and that can not only decrease stress but also raise your confidence and self-esteem.
Another one of the best parts of keeping a planner is that it’s also usually a great place to jot down important notes, key points, and passwords. Having a planner is not only good for keeping a planned and organized schedule, but it’s also a great place to consolidate all the passwords and notes we so commonly misplace and lose. Don’t remember your Turbo Tax or Blackboard password? No worries, it’s in your planner.
For those who, like me, are easily overwhelmed and have trouble seeing the immediate picture, one of the benefits of keeping a planner is being able to dissect your schedule into smaller, more easily accessible pieces. By keeping a planned account of everything you need to do in a broken-down form, you’re able to see your monthly goals downsized to weekly and daily goals. You don’t need to worry about every class assignment due during the entire semester – you only have to worry about the ones you can see right in front of you. You can’t eat the elephant (or complete the class) all at once, and with a planner, you can more easily consume the elephant in bite-sized pieces.
One benefit of keeping a planner for those with remote or virtual responsibilities is that it allows you to keep a consistent schedule. Working remotely can make it difficult to find motivation at times – when you can make your own schedules, the struggle comes with actually making your schedule. But if you have a planner and write out a clear guide beforehand, keeping a planned schedule for your daily and weekly responsibilities, it can help you stay on task and avoid becoming complacent and unmotivated.
Some people enjoy keeping a planner in order to cut their schedule into smaller, more easily accessible pieces – some enjoy keeping a planned schedule because it gives them an overall vision of what they need to accomplish throughout the year. If you’re the type of person who likes to get ahead of the curve and complete assignments way before they’re due, then keeping a planner can help you gain a visual of what your schedule will be months in advance.
When you start keeping a planner, you’re not only keeping a planned, organized, and meticulous schedule – you’re also creating a way to find free time for your social needs and personal interests. While it may not seem super fun to schedule your creative time in advance, it can be a great way to ensure you actually GET creative free time. Sometimes it can seem impossible to find a break in the middle of your busy, hectic schedule. So if you can’t find one, make one. Plan an afternoon just for you, and use that time to do something fun (not just chores) so you can recharge and prepare yourself for another week.
I honestly don’t know how people can go about their day without having some sort of To-Do list or schedule written down – I’m always constantly stressed and terrified that I’m forgetting something. But when I am keeping a planner, I find it much easier to accomplish all my tasks without feeling overwhelmed and stressed. I’m not trying to remember everything off the top of my head or checking multiple syllabi to find the right assignments – everything is kept in the same place and organized clearly, helping decrease overall stress and anxiety.