It’s that time of year again! As you stock up on school supplies and plan your schedule, follow these seven tips to get (and stay) organized.
Track it ALL. Whether you use an old-fashioned planning notebook, or a high-tech phone app, remember to schedule more than just your school work. Keep track of extracurricular events, your part-time job, important dates, and basically anything that will affect your life. Whatever impacts one area of your life will have repercussions on another area, so it’s best to just record everything in one place.
It’s not the supplies; it’s how you use them. There’s no single system that works perfectly for everyone. Whether you color-code items, use separate notebooks for each subject, tote a single, three-inch binder, or something else, choose an organizational system that feels right to you. Then stick with it.
Create a routine. Choose a time that works for your schedule, and devote it to study time. Create a routine around study time, such as exercising beforehand or blowing off steam by socializing afterward. You’re more likely to stick to a study routine that feels comfortable and rewarding.
Set benchmarks. When you write out your schedule for the semester, take note of big days (tests and due dates for big papers). Then set smaller, more manageable goals, such as writing one page per night.
Use available time wisely. If class finishes early, use that time to get a jump start on homework. Or, take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions; it might be more difficult to get an answer later in the day.
Study a little bit each day. Even if you don’t have homework, review the day’s notes or read a few pages of a large assignment. There’s always something you can do, and pacing yourself will prevent an uncomfortable time crunch at the end of the semester.
Keep track of your grades. Always know where you stand, so that you can take advantage of extra credit opportunities when they arise. Plus, tracking your grades will prevent any unpleasant surprises later, and shows you which classes need a bit more attention throughout the year.