Student life, whether you are in elementary or middle school, high school or college can be busy. There is so much going on in a given academic year and at times, the social events and academic activities can add up and make one feel overwhelmed. Being organized is a great way of managing the busy student life and reducing the stress and anxiety caused by it. In this blog, we will explore a few practical tips for becoming a more organized student.
#1: Determine Your Most Productive Hours
Everyone is different. Some are more productive in the morning, others in the afternoon, and some get their second wind before bed. Find your most productive and attentive time of the day and schedule your study hours accordingly. One hour of studying at your peak time is more productive than doing so during your downtime.
#2: Never Study Hungry or Tired
Trying to get anything done on an empty stomach is an uphill battle. But attempting to focus on studying when you can hear the rumblings of hunger or feel the temptation to doze off is not only distracting, it’s also not conducive to an efficient study session. Try to eat healthy and regularly throughout the day. Stay hydrated, get enough sleep at night and exercise often. A healthy mind lives in a healthy body.
#3: Build a Study Calendar
It is rather impossible to remember all the important dates for the various courses you are taking during a year. Write the due dates down in a calendar and leave the calendar somewhere you can see. Perhaps post it on your study wall or leave it on your study desk. You might even find an app that helps you track and be reminded of the upcoming deadlines. Keeping tracks of the important dates is not sufficient. You must plan ahead and work consistently to meet the set deadlines.
#4: Keep Your Workspace Clean
Find a comfortable study space for yourself. Whether you like to study at your desk in your room or on the couch in front of the TV or in a coffee shop, try to keep your study area clean and free of unnecessary distractions. In addition, make sure that you have all the tools necessary for the task at hand. For example, if you are working on a mind map, you might need to have color pens.
#5: It’s ok to Say No
Use your study calendar to highlight important social events that you hope to attend during the year. This allows you to plan your time more effectively. For example, you might have an important paper due close to the birthday of your best friend. Knowing that you would like to attend the birthday party, you should work ahead of time to finish off that paper.
While it is great to take a break to relax and unwind with friends to watch a movie or to go for a walk, understand that you cannot attend every event you are invited to. It is ok to say no every now and then. Be honest with your friends and explain to them that you have an important deadline coming up. They will understand.
#6: Breakdown the Complex Tasks
Breakdown the assignments and projects that seem big, complex and overwhelming to you. Instead of aiming to complete them as a whole and in one shot, try to do them in smaller pieces and perhaps one at a time. Do not let their complexity discourage you from completing them.
#7: Do a Self-Check-In Every So Often
Once a month, check-in with yourself to see how you’re doing. Ask yourself:
✓How did I do last month? Did I meet my academic goals? Did I manage my social expectations?
✓What are my academic goals for this month? What events Do I like to attend?
✓What are the areas I can improve on?
While school life is busy and can be at times an overwhelming experience, it is possible to manage it with better organizational skills. Setting goals, planning ahead and working consistently are great ways to manage the workload of student life.
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