Let’s face it: organizing things is a problem for many students. Not many teachers teach this skill in school and not many students implement this at there time in college. It’s just a thing that everyone needs to figure out by themselves, it seems – and it’s definitely isn’t an easy thing to do.
Lucky for you, you don’t actually need to try and fail to become more organized and to have more control over your time and tasks. Here are 10 tips that could help you become better at organization without struggling too much in the process.
Add All Deadlines to Your Calendar
Have an assignment that you need to complete in two months? Adding it to your calendar seems simply logical: otherwise, you might forget about it. But even if a deadline is closer (in a week, for example) and you sure you won’t forget about it, still consider adding it to your calendar.
Why? Because it would help you visualize your tasks better and act accordingly. For example, if you see that you have two important deadlines next week, it would be easier for you to decide to not go to that Saturday party and study instead.
Also read, 5 Tips For A Healthy Study Plan.
Once you have a deadline, you can work with it. In order to ensure that everything will be done on time, plan your own deadline a day earlier. This also means that you’d probably need to have a paper draft ready a day before your own deadline, which means an outline should be ready probably before a week.
By planning backward you’ll be able to come up with a deadline for every stage of the process and to ensure that you’ll have enough time to complete a task. Maybe after planning you’ll realize you need to start right now!
Start as Early as Possible
But even if you don’t actually need to start now, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do so. It’s natural for students to plan, keeping only the existing tasks in mind. However, there’s a big chance that some new tasks will pop up in the process – and not all take that into account.
In order to avoid it, don’t wait until it’s only a week before the deadline. Instead, work to complete the assignments whenever you have some free time. This could save you from a lot of stress later.
There will always be times when you’ll need to choose between something. It would be much easier when you not only have a schedule but also know your priorities well.
Writing down a list of them could be a good idea. And we’re not talking only about global priorities here (though they too are important). Maybe you have some academic tasks that need to be handled first? Or maybe it’s very important for you to drink more water? Add that to the list as well and check it each time you create a schedule.
Many students struggle with scheduling. However, many of them aren’t used to it.
There are three important things to remember for better scheduling: first, you need to create different schedules: a monthly one, a weekly one and a yearly one (if you want to). Second, you should always schedule more time for all the tasks in case something unexpected pops up. Third, you need to accept that your schedule still won’t be perfect – and it’s okay. Remember what goes wrong and try to adjust your future schedules using that knowledge.
Choose a System that Works for You
Though scheduling is important there is no system that fits all. Some make lists, some keep planners and some start bullet journals. You could try different approaches before you settle on the one that you like the most and works best for you.
Consider Color Coding
Some use color coding to highlight the most important information in textbooks or in their notes. However, you could also use it to organize your studies better.
For example, you can assign different colors for different subjects and highlight them in your schedule and calendar with those colors, keep different colored folders for that subjects, etc. This would make it easier for you to spot everything related to the subjects while studying.
Find 15 minutes a day to Clean Up
Think that cleaning has nothing to do with studying? Well, think twice. When everything is in its place and you know exactly what this place is, you don’t need to spend much time looking for something. Therefore, spend 15 minutes daily to clean your room and especially your workplace.
First, this will save you the time you’d spend on looking for certain things and struggling to find them. Second, it would be much easier for you to concentrate when everything around you is organized.
Find a way to Focus
It goes without saying that the more you distract yourself, the slower the work gets done. And while there’s no standard way to focus that suits everyone, you still should try and find your own way. Maybe it’s putting your phone in «do not disturb» mode, so you won’t get distracted by new messages. Maybe it’s setting on the Pomodoro timer to focus on work for 25 minutes straight before taking a break. Maybe it’s blocking social media for a short period of time. Find what works best for you and stick to that.
Don’t Forget to Take a Break
In fact, even schedule one. Sure, studying is important – but if you wear yourself out before you finish everything, that would be upsetting. So don’t forget to take breaks, even small ones, and do your best to get away from the computer during those breaks. Maybe, take a short walk, call a friend, meditate or even take a hot bath.
And don’t forget to get enough sleep, of course. A 2009 Harvard Medical School study showed that sleep problems do affect mental health, making you less productive and possibly leading to the development of various mental disorders, such as depression and an anxiety disorder.
Which tips and trick do you use to be more organized and to handle your tasks successfully? Please share them with us in comments below.