How to stick to your routine in 2021

Sian Hacketton 13 January 2021

To really make 2021 your year, it’s really important to nail down a good routine. This handy guide will help you to stay organised in the New Year.

I think we can all agree that 2020 was a tough one. But, even if you did have more pyjama days or Netflix binges than you normal, it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

2021 is a new year and, while we are in another lockdown, students will still have the same academic challenges to overcome. While most of us are no longer sitting exams, we still have some busy months coming up. If you want to make this year a positive one, nailing down a solid study routine is a must. Here are our top tips for getting organised in 2021:

1. Build a morning routine

Going into our third lockdown in under a year, having structure is more important than ever. Make your whole day more productive by starting your morning on the right foot.

Try to wake up at the same time every day, before kicking off with some self-care. You could go for a quick run, take a walk around the block, or do some stretches or yoga to get those endorphins going. 

Be sure to have a proper breakfast and drink plenty of water too, to power yourself up for the day ahead.

2. Set time limits on your phone

Most of us are guilty of spending too long on our phones. It’s way too easy to get sucked into the endless scrolling on TikTok or Instagram, and it can eat into your day if left unchecked. If you want to be productive this year, you’ll need to curb that phone addiction. 

As well as taking up time that could be spent achieving your goals, too much time on your phone is proven to harm your sleep and mental health. When you are feeling demotivated, instead of picking up your phone, try getting on your feet and stretching out for a couple of minutes.

If you need help managing your phone time, most phones allow you to set time limits for general use.

3. Find an organisation method that works for you

We all have different ways of planning, so it’s important to organise your schedule in a way that suits you. For some, a whiteboard filled in with a detailed plan of what you are doing each day might be the way to go. Others may prefer to take notes in a planner.

If you enjoy writing to-do lists, then you might want to try bullet journaling. This is where you set out lists and goals for each day, week and month. To go even further, you can incorporate calendars, and weekly spreads. A bullet journal is a planner you can build around your own needs. If you want to be creative, then go for it; my bullet journal is my creative outlet, as well as my organisation tool – you can find mine on Instagram if you need inspiration. If you’re more of a minimalist and want your journal to reflect that, you might be inspired by accounts such as @mondaymorningdesign.  

4. Learn to switch off

Working from home can make it hard to set fixed work times for yourself switch off at the end of the day. You can mitigate the feeling of being trapped by your studies by creating an allocated workspace that you keep away from during your downtime. Try not to work in bed, as it’s bad for your posture, as well as your sleep.

Set a time to finish work for the day and stick to it. Likewise, give yourself frequent breaks to avoid burnout. If you’re planning to work after dinner, for example, set a finish time that will allow you to wind down before you go to sleep.

5. Make time to enjoy yourself

When you do log off for the day, it helps to have something fun to look forward to. You could rekindle an old hobby or find a new passion. Getting lost in your favourite book, drawing, painting by numbers, or even just watching Netflix are all great ways to unwind. Your downtime is your chance for self-care, so try to relax. 

If you are struggling, there are plenty of places you can go for help. If you need support on mental health issues, here is a website with some resources, and if you need immediate help, please reach out to these organisations:

Samaritans – 116 123 

Mind – 0300 123 3393 or text 86463

What’s your top tip for organising yourself this year? Join our panel today and let us know. You’ll get a free £10 Amazon voucher when you sign up.

Sian Hacketton 13 January 2021