Mid-semester tips for the disorganized

3 years ago American Heritage Alumni 0

Congratulations! You’ve made it through quarter one—but now, you have a paper tornado in your backpack. Also, that thing you did earlier is due tomorrow, and now you have to look through that mess when you should be fast asleep.

It can be hard to straighten out before final exams creep up out of the mess on your desk. Here are a few tips to refresh your brain and keep you organized after finishing this challenging quarter.

  1. Utilize your calendars: There’s no reason to have a to-do list with 100 items on it. An easy way to cut the tasks you have into simpler parts is by distinguishing short-term and long-term goals on two separate lists. Even better than just writing them down, there are free apps like Cozi or MyHomework that will remind users when something’s coming up.
  2. Go from hard to easy: When starting homework, take the list of things you want to accomplish for that night and put them in order from hardest or longest to easiest or shortest. If you miss anything on the end of that list, you’ll know that it will take less time and hopefully less stress the next day.
  3. Clean: Try to empty out your backpack every week. Take some time to put things back where they belong, and throw away assignments or worksheets that you definitely won’t need later. If you find things you think you’ll need for final exams, they can stay home and not in your bag.
  4. Don’t panic: It only wastes time. Make a decision about what you’re going to do instead of sitting and thinking about it for an hour.
  5. Take breaks: Go back to Twitter for a little, take ten minutes to listen to your two favorite songs, and then get back to work.
  6. Label what you have: Heading every assignment in the same format is a great way to know where things go in your bag. For example, always put your name, the date due, and the subject at the top left corner of your page. Plus, if anyone finds your papers lying around, they can give it to the teacher and hopefully it can get back to you.
  7. Just say no: You are not a superhero. You can’t do everything. Sometimes it’s better to quit the things that are keeping you from doing what really matters. Being part of six clubs and two sports isn’t always the best idea.
  8. Prepare: Simple things like laying out your uniform the night before will earn you a few extra minutes of sleep in the morning. It won’t take too much time to put everything back in your bag at night so you can grab it and go when you wake up.
  9. Rest: Staying up until 4:00 a.m. will only hurt you, and you’re probably doing it because you didn’t manage your time correctly in the first place. Believe it or not, you can and should be getting enough sleep at night if you want to survive the rest of this quarter. There are too many studies on the importance of sleep for you not to be getting enough.