The Commuter Corner: Organizing Your Time

The Commuter Corner: Organizing Your Time

I am sure all of us who travel to campus via car have been stuck in traffic at one time or another. Personally, my 20-minute commute has turned into a 40-minute drive home. I know Moravian students who travel from an hour away and get caught in an additional 30 minutes of traffic.

The commute time to campus takes hours out of your week and can make it difficult to manage your time. Let’s consider some helpful tips to combat this.

Personally, my planner is my lifeline. I use it to schedule all my classes, work hours, extracurricular meetings, and anything else I need to do. I even plan my gym sessions and shopping trips in my planner. There are multiple ways to utilize a planner, and it doesn’t even have to be a physical book.

There are resources such as Notion or Google Calendar that serve the same purpose as a paper notebook. Any notebook can be used as a planner, do not feel any pressure to go spend money on a planner when you can just as easily utilize an empty notebook that you have at home.

No matter what you choose to use to plan your life, there are a few steps you can take to remain organized in the present and the future.

As soon as I receive my syllabi, I write down all of the important assignment due dates as well as all quiz and exam dates. This guarantees that even if I fall behind on my planning as the semester progresses, I will not miss any major assignments.

I also use a monthly spreadsheet to organize slightly smaller chunks of time. Paired with that, I use a weekly spread to iterate any major assignments due.

Time-blocking is my favorite way to plan my day. I list the time of all the mandatory activities I have throughout the day and then use the time in between to do homework or work on personal tasks.

If traditional planning isn’t something you can stick with, there are other options to remain organized. There are simple steps you can take such as keeping computer tabs open until a task is complete.

By doing this, you are reminded of your assignments every time you open your laptop; it is nearly impossible to forget about an assignment. You can also add post-it notes to your desktop by using the Stickies app on your MacBook. Select ‘file’ then ‘new note’ and you have a tab where you can write anything you need.

Paired with organization, it is important as commuting college students that we save as much time as possible. This means learning the best study methods and our peak concentration times and striving to plan study time around these. These study and revision habits can be as simple as using a Pomodoro method for peak concentration to recording lectures and re-listening to them on your ride to or from school.

Even if you only have a five-minute ride on the shuttle, you can utilize that time to review your notes or read a few pages of your textbook.

Scheduling personal activities is also extremely important, especially when college life can feel extremely overwhelming.

For me, I plan three days a week where I go to the gym and strive to do one thing a week for my enjoyment. This can range from painting my nails, taking myself out for a cup of coffee, going out for dinner with my friends, or taking a long shower and watching an episode of my favorite show after.

Planning these activities into your week aids in preventing burnout and relieves some stress produced by our overwhelming schedules.

I hope these tips help to keep you organized through midterms and the rest of the semester. As always, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, you can email me at [email protected] or comment on this article!