A Busy Student's Guide on How to Stay Organized
43% of full-time students and 81% of part-time students are also employed.
For many students, there is no other choice, and they may struggle with time management skills. If you have a family on top of that, it may seem overwhelming or impossible some days.
The good news is that if you learn how to stay organized, you can excel as a student and in all areas of your life. You need to learn to stay organized and on top of your responsibilities.
In this blog post, we'll teach you organization tips to ensure you don't become overwhelmed.
Read on for more tips and tricks.
Keep All of Your Notes for One Course Together
Instead of wondering where you put your notes, create a binder for all of your notes for each subject. If your work is primarily online, keep everything for each subject together in one folder on your computer. That way, everything is easily found and ready for you to work on.
Keep a Written Planner
This may feel super old school, but for most busy people, it is much easier than keeping a phone calendar where you may or may not see assignments due. With a written planner, you can see exactly what you need to do each week and make plans around when assignments are due or have tests.
If your life is super busy, plan to the hour. Get a large planner that allows you to do this and write down everything going on, from work shifts to classes to assignments to studying.
Stay Focused By Blocking Websites
If you're like most students, you may find yourself getting distracted by sites like YouTube or Instagram. While studying on your computer, it can be all too tempting to navigate over to them and see what's going on in the world of social media.
You can install extensions on your browser or use websites like KeepMeOut that make it impossible for you to go on certain sites while you're supposed to be working.
If you have trouble staying off your phone, put it away while you're trying to study and keep it out of your reach. If you have kids and your excuse is that you need it in case they call, you can keep it on so you can hear it in case of emergencies. However, keeping it physically out of your reach will reduce the temptation to scroll through social media and waste time.
One way to stay focused is to reward yourself with little things throughout the term. You can do this on a macro or micro level during the week or even during the day.
If you're having trouble writing a paper, tell yourself that if you write 500 solid words, then you can order take-out or watch a YouTube video.
You can do this on bigger levels, such as buying yourself something nice if you get through one week to stay on task.
This adult reward system is often a way for students to stay organized.
Pack Your Backpack or Bag the Night Before
Instead of winging it and throwing everything in your bag as you're on your way out the door, pack everything the night before. This way, you can be sure you've not forgotten anything that you need. Go over what's in your backpack two or three times before you decide it's ready, just to be sure.
Create To-Do Lists
This may sound like a no-brainer, but some people who struggle with staying organized in college also struggle with figuring out what they need to do.
Take a look at what classes you have this coming week. What do you have to do for them and what is due for work? Make a list of everything from the chapters you have to read to the papers you have to write.
Now, you have an actionable list to help you conquer the upcoming week.
Create Time for Online Courses
Many busy college students, especially mature students, take online courses. They can be easy to slot in around your work or other commitments. However, it is easy to forget that they still require work and just as much drive as your other courses.
An online course isn't a course that you magically get credits for. It's a course like any other and will require your attention and effort.
Instead of thinking, "I'll get to that on Saturday," and then being totally overwhelmed on the weekend, carve out time in your schedule for your online courses.
Many schools have courses that you can take at your own pace, so you'll want to be sure you're not putting it off to the point you find you can't complete it.
Using your planner, set aside a few hours every week for your online courses.
One of the best tips for how to stay organized in college is to take these classes as seriously as any other class you're taking, if not more so.
How to Stay Organized
Hopefully, this article gave you a few ideas on how to stay organized while juggling a busy life outside of your academics. Sometimes it seems difficult, but always remember that you can do it if you put effort into your schoolwork. While it may seem stressful now, in the long run, it will be worth it.
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