Sometimes when you’re in school, keeping your life organized is surprisingly hard. It’s so easy to shove papers in your backpack and forget about them as well as leaving old food in your locker for days. However throughout this past school year, I’ve had friends and peers admire how put- together I’ve been. And though it can feel a little overwhelming sometimes, I think I’ve pretty much got it down. So here are some tips I’ve put together to hopefully help you get back on track for the last quarter.
1.Using an agenda
I’m sure you’ve heard this probably a billion times, however an agenda is life-changing, but only if you use it correctly. I use my planner religiously, whether it’s for tracking my classes and assignments to making plans with friends and long-term goals, it helps me not to forget anything that needs to get down. However, please only use ONE planner. You’ll try to balance both and something will eventually slip. Plus, it’ll take double the amount of time and eventually become an inconvenience. Just a reminder! Having a planner works 10 times better if you keep it with you! If you always have it by your side or tucked into a backpack, everytime something comes up you can write it down before you forget – in my opinion it’s much easier to have a small planner to do this, but whatever floats your boat. And have a rule that whatever you write down, you get done. Make it more of a to do list instead of what you could have accomplished today. Personal tip, if an assignment is due in 3 weeks for example, put reminders to finish it every week and a couple days before it’s due, in case you procrastinate and forget.
NOTE: Students! Most schools offer free planners! And though they may be hideous, they’re free!
2. Having different binders/notebooks/folders for every subject
In middle school I used one binder for all my subjects, and though that might have worked in middle school, it just doesn’t do it for me anymore. I have so many papers, everything can’t fit, and if I only need to bring home things for one subject, it’s useless to have my math stuff whilst doing science. My solution? Have one thing for every class. This way, it’s much easier to remember to do things if you can recognize the specific binder(s) that you brought home instead of bringing home everything. I have all my subjects colour coded. The red notebook and folder are for math, the blue notebook and folder are for english, etc. That way it’s easy to see in your backpack which things you need to grab. And finally, create a system for organizing these binders. For my english folder I clasped in all the sheets of old units, and for current unit, I used one side of the folder for information and the other side for things I needed to get done (homework) that way everything I needed to do was right in front of me. However for science I separated the pages with dividers to distinguish between separate units. Find what works for you, and stick to it!
3.By high quality school supplies but only a few
In middle school, I made the grave mistake to get a huge pack of cheap pencils, that way, if I ever lost any, I could always come home and get more. Seems genius? Think again. The problem with this was that I never took care of the pencils. They would easily get lost or broken, and before I knew it, the entire pack of 50 was gone. So instead, have really nice, good quality school supplies, that won’t break, and you’ll take such good care
of them. Knowing you only have 5 will result in you treating them like small children. Everyone at school knows that they aren’t allowed to touch my pencil case without asking. This way, you’ll always have a pencil in class and maybe even another to share with a friend.
4. Make folders on your computer!
When my desktop is full, I am stressed out. I always used to think folders were a waste of time, and that it was easier seeing everything instead of tucking it away and forgetting it about it. But this past school year has taught me that folders are beautiful creations that were made for a purpose. I have divided my folders into grades, and then sub-folders with different subjects. This way, if I ever need to do to something, I can quickly find exactly where it is. Need to look over old work? Go in the proper folder. Need to print something quickly? Don’t spend 10 minutes scanning your desktop, go to the proper folder! Sure, it may take some work initially, but soon it’ll become second nature. If you haven’t already done this, go!! You will come back and thank me, I’m sure of it. However, make sure to always disconnect for a few hours a day. It’ll curb stress and help you to stop wasting so much time on the internet. Find something you really enjoy doing to relax. I love to read (I even have a whole blog post on it) and when I stopped for a period of time, that was when I was the most unhappy. Always squeeze in an hour of two of something other than staring at your phone or computer before bed.
5. Have a set time to do homework
I’ve found that if I directly come home from school and start slaving away at homework, the quality of my work decreases and I exhaust myself. Figure out your most productive time! For some it may be early in the morning before breakfast and for others it may be really late at night. Find when you can get the most work done and try to optimize that time for productivity and work. I come home at around 3:30 and I lay around until 4:15 and as soon as the clock hits 4:15 I’m up and ready to start my homework. Having a time that isn’t right when I come home, but also isn’t too late (so I can have the rest of the evening to myself) is perfect for me. When you have a constant routine of doing things, you’ll soon get into a rhythm to stay productive and organized. Setting timers to do your work can also help if you get constantly distracted (this helps me so much!). My dad swears by working in bursts of 25 minutes however I prefer to work for 45 minutes and then take a longer break. Trust me, it will help you from picking up your phone and checking instagram because you’ll be held accountable for a certain chunk of time.
Hopefully you learned some of my top-secret tips on how I’ve prevented myself from going insane this past year. It’s funny because in middle school I was never super duper organized however as soon as high-school started the smallest thing out of line drives me insane. Just remember to go easy on yourself, you’re not always going to be perfect and if you mess up once or even twice, it’s not the end of the world.
All the love,