Life @ U of T

Juggling Responsibilities, for Forgetful People

If I were to ever be picked up and interrogated by cops about what I did on a specific day at a specific time, I'd be in trouble big time. Most days, I can barely remember what I ate for lunch. I'm that person: the one you ask, "What did you do over the weekend?" on a Monday morning, only to watch my eyes glaze over and have your question repeated back to you, "What did I do over the weekend?"
A stock photo of someone's hands in handcuffs. Caption: Luckily this hasn't happened
Luckily this hasn't ever happened
Needless to say, I've had moments in the middle of the night where I've shot up out of my bed, only to realize that I forgot to do something important earlier. But hey, at least this nocturnal part of my brain has my back. When you only have one or two things to do, it's not too bad. But, around this time of year, it can get incredibly difficult for the forgetful person to juggle multiple responsibilities: full-time academic studies, a job, volunteer work, a personal life, etc. The trick is to trick yourself into remembering. Here's how I do it: 1) The majestic whiteboard
A picture of my whiteboard. Caption: An example of how I use my whiteboard
An example of how I use my whiteboard
One year, when asked what I wanted for Christmas, I ingeniously asked for my own whiteboard. Sure, it makes my bedroom look like an office, but it makes for an amazing memory tool. There's hundreds of ways to use a whiteboard to keep yourself organized, but I use mine as a massive, in-your-face to-do list. At the end of each night, I sit for five minutes and write down what needs to get done the following day. 2) Magical sticky notes
A screenshot of a digital sticky note on my computer screen. Caption: A digital sticky note on my desktop
A digital sticky note on my desktop
Maybe a whiteboard isn't the most practical or space-effective memory tool. Maybe you need something smaller and more compact. Sticky notes, both physical and digital, are easy to use and small enough for any living space. You can stick them anywhere: books, your phone, the wall, etc. I leave reminders for myself on either my desktop screen or on my phone, since they're usually the first things I check in the morning. Digital sticky notes are also great. Not to mention, they aren't made of trees. 3) UTSU's agenda
A photo of this year's UTSU student agenda. Caption: This year's agenda
This year's agenda
Last but not least: at the beginning of every academic year, UTSU (the University of Toronto Students' Union) hands out free agendas. They might still have some! They're the memory tool you can take with you everywhere, on-campus or off-campus. While any agenda can do the trick, the UTSU agendas are printed with important student dates in mind: they save you the hassle of having to remind yourself to remind yourself. (Speaking of important dates: Arts and Sciences has posted the April exam schedule.) Plus, the agenda also has pages dedicated to handy info like the Student Health & Dental Plan. These are just a few of the tools I use to stay on top of everything (trust me, it takes many, many more tools). If you're a forgetful person like me, or are just looking for new ways to stay organized during this hectic time of year, then give some of these tips a try. Do you have your own memory tools? Let us know what they are!

2 comments on “Juggling Responsibilities, for Forgetful People

  1. Great post Sam! These are all definitely good tips and completely necessary to have if you want to get lots of things done! I use the digital sticky notes too, plus I use the “Momentum” google chrome add-on where I lets you write “to-do” lists on the bottom

    1. Thanks, Grusha! I’ll definitely check out Momentum, since it sounds like the digital equivalent to my whiteboard.

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