Welcome to a new year, everyone! Even though we’re halfway through the school year, I thought it would be best to highlight some handy tips on staying organized during the remainder of the year. I find that knowing how to be organized is not only crucial at school, but it’s also a useful skill to have throughout your life. You also have to be conscientious of how much you can do, so taking frequent breaks is key.
One method I’ve used to stay focused, and to make sure I’m taking breaks, is the Pomodoro technique. It is a fun and efficient way of keeping you focused with only 25 minutes on the clock. Once the timer finishes, you’d have finished working on the task and can then take a 5-10 minutes break. You can repeat the process a few more times until your task is complete.
Aside from this technique, here are other tips that have worked for me when I was in school, some which I still use to this day:
Develop a routine.
Consistency is key. As you get older, you’ll have more flexibility to find time that works for you. As of now, you have time to do your homework or extracurricular activities in the evening. As a result, it’s best to develop a routine that will keep you focused after school. Make sure to carve out a few hours for homework, studying, and even helping your parents with chores. With that in mind, the next step will be beneficial.
Write things down (preferably in an agenda or planner).
Since school can be hectic, it is sometimes easy to forget what you need to do and when it is due. Having an agenda handy on your desk is important, especially when your teacher tells you when an assignment is to be handed in or when you will have your next test. Additionally, you can add in extracurricular activities or family obligations in your planner. This will allow you to visually see when you can carve out time to study or do your homework.
Create your own deadline.
If you have a project due in a month, aim to set a personal goal of completing it 1 week before it’s due. This way, you can have someone edit your work or add some finishing touches. This will also give you the opportunity to free up some time to work on other things. There will always be a time when something unexpected comes up and throws a wrench in your schedule, so giving yourself some “wiggle” room will avoid a stressful situation.
Break tasks into chunks.
With your agenda in hand, you can tackle your school tasks one by one. If you are working on a project, make sure to break the tasks into chunks. For example, you could do the following:
|Day||Project – Autobiography on James Baldwin|
|Monday||Do some research (45 min-1 hr)|
|Tuesday||Brainstorm some ideas (25 min)|
|Wednesday||Plan out the project (essay format, etc.)|
If you have several assignments to work on, try using the Pomodoro technique:
|1. Project on James Baldwin- research||4:00 pm – 5:00 pm (use Pomodoro technique)|
|2. Study for math test||5:00 pm – 6:00 pm (use Pomodoro technique)|
|30 min break- dinner, talk to friends on the phone, etc.|
|3. Complete history questions||6:30 pm – 6:55 pm (use Pomodoro technique)|
Declutter your workspace.
Decluttering your workspace is such an important task. Life can get busy, and there will be times when you will be swamped with homework and many assignments. Make sure to organize your notes in your binder. At the end of the week, go through each binder and recycle any pages you don’t need. Decluttering your workspace also declutters your brain. This will keep you more organized in general and allow you to focus easily at home and in school.
I hope these tips will help you stay organized throughout the rest of the school year! Remember: don’t do too much at once, organize your tasks in an agenda, and take frequent breaks.
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