Student Experience Blog

Why To-Do Lists Are The Best Things Ever

Everyone here on campus is starting to get into the swing of things now that we've entered our third week of classes. It's been long enough now that pretty much everyone has some sort of routine established, even if that routine is hitting the snooze button five times or so before finally sleepwalking into their 8 a.m. class. That said, those routines can oftentimes be thrown into flux by some choice homework assignments. Let's face it--there are some essays that demand nothing less than a solid commitment of several hours if you really want an A. And some readings are so dense that speed skimming half an hour before class ceases to be a viable strategy.

This is why having a solid To-Do list is nothing less than essential. Megan touched on this in her recent post about her daily planner. While I don't have a planner myself, I have a similar To-Do list, which right now is looking a little like this:

  1. Complete first draft of Essay #1 for Creative Nonfiction Workshop by 2:00 p.m. Tuesday.
  2. Review Chapter 1 French grammar and vocabulary and learn Chapter 2's vocabulary by Wednesday's class.
  3. Clean my room--seriously, how did my workspace get covered in a bunch of papers already?
  4. Prepare a solo arrangment of "The Girl from Ipanema" (and look over as much of our other music as possible) for jazz choir Wednesday night.
  5. Study my notes in preparation for the first exam in Biology of Human Diseases on Friday.
  6. Stay up to date on reading assignments for Principles/Practices of Journalism and Biology of Human Disease.
  7. Rehang a couple of personal posters in my room with something more adhesive than scotch tape.
  8. Edit the newest photos from Campus Ministries Late Night and upload them to Flickr (and remember to charge my camera battery).
  9. Work with the Kappa Kappa Gammas to prepare the first social event of the semester for Delta Tau Delta (tenatively for next weekend).
  10. Blog about life.

It's seriously helpful to write all this stuff out, because it allows me to evaluate what assignments take priority over others. Take number one on the list, for example--I'm writing this post on Monday night. The class for which the essay is due is at 2:40 p.m. Tuesday. The essay is due in around 14 hours, give or take. That means The Girl From Ipanema, as sweet as she is, can wait until after I get out of ENG-220. Visualizing this gives me more motivation to really get cracking on the assignment. When the time before assignments and tests are due begin to shorten, I become more laser focused on what needs to be done. It keeps things fresh.

I'll probably get most of this stuff done upstairs in the Terteling Library. I found out last year that the constant quiet (and the comfy chairs) is a lot less distracting than all the commotion the dorms offer. I'll probably go there first thing in the morning, maybe with a bottle of chocolate milk. Hopefully I'll get done ahead of schedule and get a chance to jam some studying in for biology. Perhaps even before lunch? Or is that wishful thinking? We'll see, I guess.

-Clayton Gefre

Clayton is a sophomore creative writing major from Meridian, Idaho.