Organize For Success This Term

Written by Daneli Atilano

Photo by Olya Kobruseva: Prexels

We’ve all had those moments in college where important due dates feel like they are coming in all at once while your work and personal life become busy too. These moments can feel like relentless ocean waves that keep crashing down on you without a break that may lead to a decline in mental and physical health. Before these moments happen, its better to put systems and routines in place that allow you to take each task on one at a time instead all at once. Organizing is a form of self-care that future you will greatly appreciate. 

Calendars and Planners 

Whether it be digital or on paper, calendars and planners are helpful for keeping track of assignment due dates, work schedules, and appointments. If setting up a calendar seems daunting, try using the Canvas calendar. On Canvas your school due dates are already listed and can be personalized to add your own important dates. If your class doesn’t use Canvas, another great option is Google Calendar. Through Google Calendar you can color coordinate assignments and appointments, set reminders, and import contacts and events from other apps. Having a calendar can prevent missing important due dates and will help keep you on track to not fall behind in classes. 

Reminders and Alarms

 A great way of holding yourself accountable for maintaining your routine is using the reminder or alarm app. Use the reminder app for future assignments or appointments that you feel you may forget about. Alarms may be annoying, but they are great for preventing procrastination and can be used to give yourself small breaks in between studying. 

Create Class Folders

Before term starts create a folder for each class your taking then add subfolders for notes, assignments, and projects. This makes it easier to find files and saves time in searching. If you prefer physical files, buy individual folders that are different colors or labeled for their designated class.

Find a Schedule that Works Best for You

Are you more productive in the morning, afternoon, or night? How long do you need to give yourself to get assignments done? Do you need to wake up earlier in order to complete your schedule? Will your schedule allow time to cook healthy meals, or should you pick a day to meal prep for the week? Go over your schedule and ask yourself these questions. It may sound stressful, but this is a great way to figure out where and when to use your time wisely. 

Create a Clean and Non-distracting Workspace

Studying in a messy environment can make your mind feel distracted and overwhelmed. Keeping a clean and clutter free workspace eliminates distractions and allows you to focus on the task at hand. Turning off phones or TV can also help utilize your time better without absentmindedly glancing at these screens. 

Prioritize Sleep

Keeping a good sleep schedule is important for mental and physical health. Being well rested will also give you the energy to focus and learn. Pulling an all-nighter to study may sound like a good solution, but your brain will retain information better after a good night of sleep. Instead of getting frustrated for not understanding after hours of studying, step away, go to sleep, and try again in the morning. 

It may sound like a lot of work to stay organized, but practice makes perfect. Even the little things can make a big difference come midterms or finals week. The point is to lighten any stress and schedule your time in a way that will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed all at once. This can be done daily, weekly, monthly, or whatever works best for you. Organization is personal and takes time to figure out how to navigate what is helpful and what isn’t. The important thing is that you are taking that time to help present and future you. 

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