Staying organized throughout the school year is the best way to stay on track with assignments and due dates. Developing habits to help you organize your workspace can stick with you throughout your life and promote success every step of the way. Although it’s never too late to organize your life, and the beginning of a new school year is a great place to start. We compiled a list of tips to help you not only get organized, but also to remain organized this year.
1. Get your desk in order.
Whether it’s homework or virtual learning, you’ll likely be spending a lot of time at your desk this school year. Make sure your workspace is in an area where you actually want to be-- where it’s well lit, a good temperature, and as secluded as possible so you can concentrate. It’s a good idea to sit down at a clear desk each day so you don’t get distracted by other projects. Organize your desk and designate a spot for the essentials, like your pens, notebooks, textbooks and laptop. When you’ve finished your assignments for the day, clean off your desk by putting all of your materials back into place, packing what you need for the next day in your backpack. That way, you can start your next day with a fresh start.
2. Get your outfits planned the night before and backpack packed.
Once you have the necessary supplies packed into your backpack the night before, take some time to plan your outfits for the upcoming week as well. It may sound silly, but if you set aside your clothes the night before, you can save so much time and avoid rushing around in the morning. Check the weather and your calendar to make sure you’re getting together all the necessary items. By the time you wake up in the morning, you’ll be able to start off your day stress free.
3. Stick with your routine.
It may take some trial and error, but finding a routine that works for you is key to staying on track. Healthy routines require a good night's rest, regular exercise, and healthy balanced meals. Implementing these in the week’s leading up to a new school year can kick off a new routine, making it easier to factor in other priorities and activities, like studying, sports, and time spent with friends and family. If your weeks vary day-to-day, it can be hard to include the necessary time it takes to make sure you’re getting your work done and staying organized.
4. Break down assignments.
In past blogs, we’ve recommended writing a paragraph each night rather than writing the whole essay the night before. No matter what assignment or subject, there is almost always a way to break down projects into smaller, more manageable pieces. Create an outline of all the steps you need to take to complete the assignment, and then you’ll have a step by step process to help you stay on track.
5. Work on one task at a time.
As much as we like to think that we are capable of multitasking, studies have shown that multitasking can reduce productivity by up to 40%. Trying to work on a bunch of assignments at once just creates more clutter and stress, so when you sit down at your desk, be sure to just work on one assignment at a time. This allows you to fully concentrate on the subject at hand, and then when you’re finished, you can put everything related to that assignment away and have a clear space for the next project you have to work on.
6. Declutter / File
Before the beginning of the school year, make sure there’s nothing from last year that can creep back into your life and cause disarray. Take some time to look through last year’s papers and assignments. For everything that you no longer need, throw it away or recycle it. If there’s anything that you think could help you this year, file it away somewhere. You’ll have a whole new year of essays and projects, and you don’t want to have to share your workspace with material that you no longer need.
7. Use a planner and write everything down.
If you’re wondering how to keep track of all of your assignments and obligations, look no further than a planner. While our phones have the capability to send us reminders, you’re more likely to remember all of the important tasks you need to do if you physically write them down. Using a planner directly relates to a lot of other tips on this list. In your daily planner you can assign a smaller task of a larger project to a specific day, and help organize your daily routines and activities. Writing everything down not only helps you organize your schoolwork, it also helps you to keep track of sports practices, presentations, and appointments.