How to Organize Your Semester (RN)

by Elizabeth Russ, FNP

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    00:01 First step to organizing your life and the chaos that is nursing school is finding your new best friend. And before you come at me saying like, you don't have time to make any friends right now, which I totally understand, things are just going to be a little bit stressful for a little while.

    00:15 Allow me to demonstrate and introduce you to who I mean.

    00:19 Dear friends, your new best friend is a planner.

    00:23 It doesn't matter what type, it can be digital, it can be paper, it can be literally whatever you have. But what matters is that it's a planner that you will actually use and that it's easy to use.

    00:34 Don't fall into the trap of finding one of those fancy planners that you need to go spend a ton of time like actually setting up each month.

    00:41 I have already gone down that rabbit hole for you and, trust me, easy is going to be the key that you want to stick with here.

    00:48 And once you have acquired your new best friend, it will be with you always. Essentially, it will guide your life daily, weekly, monthly, and for truly, like, if you're very ambitious, it could even guide you by the hour.

    01:01 I know, I've been there.

    01:03 It's kind of fun and also terrifying.

    01:05 So let me show you how.

    01:07 Before the semester starts, I want you to get out your calendar or by now your planner. Go pick one and then just go hide from the world.

    01:17 This is going to be your day of doom.

    01:19 Are you excited? And on this day of doom, you will go through every single syllabus you have for the entire next semester, and you're going to write down every single assignment, every paper, every lab, everything that you possibly have, all the due dates. Those are all going to go into the planner on this day.

    01:36 And then we will go through and add all of your other predicted life events.

    01:40 Do you have birthdays? Are there anniversaries, family get-togethers, party, work? Everything that you can predict, schedule it .

    01:47 Everything that you can think of that you can plan around, write it down.

    01:52 If it's important, it goes in here so that you can actually make those events and get a little bit, that's going to give you the quality of life, right? And we can plan around it.

    02:00 I want to say the day of doom, you might have thought it would be fun, but shockingly, this day is going to be very overwhelming.

    02:05 And if you are like me, you will cry, and you, feel free to cry, it's not called the day of Doom for nothing.

    02:11 Also warn your family and your friends that you're having this day of doom, so they can, like, bring you appropriate treats and treat you kindly.

    02:17 And if you are wondering why any sane person would sit down and do this to themselves on purpose, it's because it's going to make the rest of your semester filled with so much less doom. The start of a semester is super-duper hard because you literally can't do anything yet.

    02:32 But there is an endless list of things that you have to do in front of you, and it takes all of that anxiety and bottles it up into one day and allows you to actually be productive with it.

    02:42 And the best news here is you never have to look at the whole semester at one time ever again.

    02:48 Please don't. Actually, that is literally why we had our day of doom.

    02:52 For the rest of the semester.

    02:53 I want you to pick a planning day each and every week, and on that planning day, look a few weeks ahead, like maybe three, four, if you are feeling like really bold and fill in this week with the doable things that are going to help you reach the goal that you have to reach within the next three or four weeks.

    03:12 And the key, the key here, is do not over commit.

    03:15 Start working on projects and exams early, but don't look past that three or four-hour week mark, and focus on making realistic to-do lists for every single day of the upcoming week.

    03:27 And as you go through the initial weeks, you're going to start to learn how much time a lot of these tasks are going to take you, and you can adjust your daily tasks accordingly. Maybe you realize that you can actually get through Lecturio videos way faster and get the same out of them by listening to them at 1.5 speed.

    03:45 And then, you have enough time to actually put in a few late quiz questions, so you would adjust the schedule that way.

    03:51 Or you figure out that writing papers is something you absolutely loathe, and you're going to need to adjust and schedule a lot more time for that.

    04:00 Make reasonable to-do lists while you're doing this, cross things off as they're done, feel accomplished.

    04:07 Crossing things off might be the most accomplished feeling in the entire world, but that's just me. Adjust your schedule as you need and when you are done with all of your tasks for the day, do something you love and just rest and feel accomplished that you did the things, and now you can be done.

    04:23 The beauty of planning it all out is that when you are done, you are allowed to rest and when you are finished with all of your tasks, you don't have that anxiety because you know you're done.

    04:32 You can prioritize tasks so that you have days totally off for life things.

    04:36 I cannot tell you how mentally reassuring it is to have that "Oh, my brain can just, like, relax." I have that feeling of, like, "I'm done" at the end of the day.

    04:46 I have done it the procrastination way and I promise it is easier the way we just talked about and it's so much less overwhelming.

    04:54 And don't forget that on your day of doom, that you are not alone.

    04:58 You are enough.

    04:59 And you, my friend, can do the hard things.

    05:02 So go find a planner or meet me in the next section where I can really embrace the mom vibes that you have been warned about.

    05:08 Because they're going up a level now.

    05:10 You've been warned.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture How to Organize Your Semester (RN) by Elizabeth Russ, FNP is from the course Preparing for Nursing School (RN).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Utilize a planner
    2. Prioritize tasks
    3. Plan time for personal activities
    4. Only plan for school activities
    5. Plan one day at a time
    1. Sit down one day and plan a few weeks ahead
    2. Plan all school activities
    3. Plan all personal activities
    4. Only plan one week ahead
    5. Always stick to a planned schedule

    Author of lecture How to Organize Your Semester (RN)

     Elizabeth Russ, FNP

    Elizabeth Russ, FNP

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