My first exam is the first blue blue Post-It in the third row, and there are three blue Post-Its before it. The green Post-Its are the weekends I have to study (far right), and the yellow ones are days where I don’t currently have any event scheduled that will require my mental or physical energy. (I apologize for the blurriness. Walls are surprisingly difficult to photograph!)
Why all the Post-Its? Because I woke up on Saturday morning in a cold sweat, panicked about everything I knew I had to do, but was completely unable to conceptualize how much time I had to do it all. Everything was written down, but I couldn’t turn the words on the paper in my day-timer into anything that made events clear in my mind. It’s my very last exam set of high school (I’m graduating afterwards!) and I’ve been feeling/putting a lot of pressure on myself to go out with a bang. But I wasn’t anticipating the high blood pressure that my personal expectations would bring. So I took 10 deep breaths and tried to figure out how to get organized so I can maximize my productivity in preparation for my exams.
When it comes to my world, I like three things:
Okay, so that 4 things, but lets pretend it’s 3. So, I combined all of these things and made a Post-It calendar. Actually, it’s not a full calendar of the month, but I leave on June 26 for a 6 week vacation travelling the other side of the planet, so I didn’t bother with the rest of the days. The day my plane takes off is the last thing I’ve written:
I like this idea because I can see at a glance when everything is, as opposed to flipping through pages. I do have a month-at-a-glace page in my planner, but it had gotten messy with “maybe-happenings” and “not-sures.” I applied the GTD principle of only putting in concrete events. For each of the days I have an exam, I also wrote the time and place so I won’t forget. It helps to keep this from becoming another ambiguous list of things that may-or-may not occur so you then have to spend more energy sorting it in your mind. Whew, that last sentence was a mouthful!
This calendar is on the wall beside my computer, where I notice it every time I look up. So when I’ve been spending too much time on Facebook, out of the corner of my eye, I notice everything I have to do, and I log off :
This calendar is easy to replicate for yourself, using any colour combination you wish.
It’s something to look forward to.
So tell me, what’s your strategy for conquering the mental clutter that exams bring?