Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a little bit organisation mad. I like my early starts and 10pm bed times, and I like finishing my work at least 12 hours before it’s due (it used to be 24 hours, but that’s not always realistic at Oxford!). If I weren’t so entirely reliant on my laptop for work, I’d be the girl with several hundred bits of stationary from Paperchase in her room. For me, keeping organised means that I can have fun without feeling guilty, maintain a decent work/life balance, and not feel on the verge of death (most of the time) here at Oxford.
This was a tactic I employed at A Levels, too, although I like to think that I’ve refined it a bit over the past year. It involves dividing my day up into 3 sets of 2 hour blocks (e.g. 8 – 10, 10:30 – 12:30, 1:30 – 3:30) with an extra hour at the end for “overflow” work that I didn’t complete earlier (e.g. 4-5). My absolute cut-off for work is 6:30pm, so if one of my breaks overruns or I start a little late then it’s not really an issue. This means that, on average, I do between 6-7 hours of work a day, 7 days a week during term time – around 42 hours a week. Some people prefer to only work 6 days a week during term, in which case they’d work 7-8 hours a day, 6 days a week, to achieve the same effect.
If I’m really efficient, therefore, I could technically finish working every day by 3:30pm and still get all of my reading and essays done! Of course, I’m not perfect at sticking to it, and the actual hours I work depend on when my lectures are, but it’s working pretty well for me at the moment!
More on this coming soon...