After middle school, students' workload often increases drastically. Getting schoolwork done is a vital aspect of school life and is reliant upon organization. Developing good organizational skills not only aids in time management but also decreases procrastination and academic-related stress. Whether implementing the best way to organize assignments or study for tests, all tasks require an understanding of the basics of good organization. These skills will help students work efficiently now and in the future.
Why is it Important to be Organized?
Results of planning and organizing assignments are: minimal wasted time, improved productivity and time management, and learning to prioritize tasks. With organization, students feel less overwhelm, stress and frustration.
Efficiency in schoolwork happens with a scheduled plan. Students who are aware of their priorities make more efficient use of their time, thus, improve their time management.
Schools rarely teach organizational skills for more than a few weeks, yet a focus on improving organizational techniques is essential. Making a daily and weekly schedule for assignments translates, soon enough, into college life and joining the workforce. Practicing strategies for success also allows more time for music, art and FUN!
Organization Strategies: Student Planners
Oftentimes, students are forgetful of required assignments. Imagine coming home with no academic stress or pending school assignments. Sounds too good to be true, but students that plan stay in control and level-headed as tasks pile up.
Master a school planner, either online or paper. A planner increases productivity and focus through quick notes of assignments, due dates and an assignment completion checklist. This decreases forgotten assignments and boosts time management skills.
Students can also find an online organizational website to transfer your tasks from your planner. This can be as simple as tracking your assignments in a google sheets document.
The brain loves to "check things off." Each time an assignment is completed there is a little rush of dopamine, increasing motivation to continue utilizing these organizational activities.
Productive Study Space
Organize your desk and supplies. A clean desk or workspace boosts focus and eliminates distractions. Having all needed supplies at arm's reach allows for better time management. No more wasted time searching for things you need. Pre-planning and having things available to you allows for a more fluid study session.
Organize due dates. Next to each task, jot down the due date - then try to gauge the amount of time needed and note it in your plan. This skill is developed gradually, and will take some practice.
Break up bigger tasks over a period of time. Small, steady effort produces more over time than sprinting the night before. When students have dozens of assignments to complete all at once, they're often stressed to finish, and the work is not as good. Working in smaller sessions allows retention of information and gives more time to plan.
ALWAYS work on items due earlier first. However, if there are similar deadlines, prioritize harder tasks. Allowing enough time for each task gives you the ability to complete them in small chunks, eliminating overwhelm.
Setting aside time for each task does take practice. Take a guess. It is common to spend too much or too little time on one task and, therefore, fall behind. Plan more time on an assignment than you predict you’ll need. Eventually, your brain will master gauging time.
Use time blocks on your planner. Decide on time intervals to work on each task, including start and end time. Block it out and check it off.
Finishing assignments allows time for entertainment, while also gaining confidence and time management skills.
Add study breaks between longer tasks. Research varies, but breaks ideally happen every 45-53 minutes. Breaks have been shown to improve focus, creativity, productivity and mental health. Go for a short walk, or just sit in the sun and breeze with a drink and a snack.
You Can Do It
Often, by high school, we have "stories" about our abilities from things others have said, or an internal voice that likes to criticize all we do. Don't believe everything you hear.
About the Author
Kunal Kapur is a student at Seminole High School in the IB program. He completed an internship with B Organized Today in the summer of 2021. Some of his hobbies include playing tennis and drawing in his free time.