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.
Title: 14 Cleaning Hacks To Up Your Eco-Friendly Game
Keeping your kitchen organized is one thing, keeping it clean a whole other ball park. In a space that you use so frequently and that gets messy every day, it’s important to establish a regular cleaning routine. Since you’re working with food in the kitchen, it’s a great place to use Eco-friendly cleaning alternatives!
Baking soda, vinegar, lemons and Co. are likely already stocked in your cabinets. Here are a few ways to substitute toxic cleaning products with these natural ingredients:
As you see, there are many ways to clean your kitchen without spending money on expensive chemicals. Best of all: These Eco-friendly cleaning hacks also keep your conscience clean as you’re actively contributing to a healthier planet.
12 Habits That Will Help You Get Organized
January 13, 2021 by Julia Weaver
Whether you live in Phoenix, AZ, or Philadelphia, PA, you’ve probably been spending more time at home than ever before amidst the pandemic. Now, you might be noticing just how disorganized your home has become over the past year and are ready to make a change as the new year begins.
Finding the time to nail down a game plan between laundry, errands, and piles of dishes, however, can be a challenge. Luckily, we’ve gathered expert-approved organizing tips to tackle the clutter in every part of your home so you can keep your home tidy all year-round.
Make a solid plan for your organizing goals
I recommend writing down a “vision” of what you’d like your home to be like by the end of the year. Then, make more solid goals (but no more than 3-5) for each quarter. – Laura Sue Shaw
Discard old keys you have lying around
Do you have a lot of mystery keys that you have no idea what locks they belong to? As you change out locks around your home, discard all their keys and label the new keys to avoid the mystery and consequently, the clutter. – Simple Organized Solutions
Identify your specific pain point
Once you know your pain point, address it in a way that is as close to your family’s natural habits and instincts as possible. If you try to do something too far from your usual routines, it won’t be sustainable, and you’ll be frustrated again with your unorganized space in no time. If you are finding it hard to let go of things, chances are there is a mental block standing in your way. Oftentimes we keep things out of guilt or a sense of obligation. Remember that your home is meant for the things you and your family need, use, and love. Give yourself permission to let go of anything that clutters your space without serving your family. – SOS by Lisa
Change your mindset
With the changes we’ve all gone through in the last year, getting and keeping your home organized and clutter-free in 2021 is more important than ever. Start by changing your mindset. Before you buy anything or bring anything into your home – ask yourself these questions: Do I really need it or do I just want it? Will I really use the item in the next few months? Do I actually have a specific place for the item? If you answered “no” to the above questions then don’t buy it and keep the clutter out of your home. – Organizational Consulting
Use broad categories as you’re organizing
When creating categories for zones of items – think broadly. You want to set yourself up for long-term success. A bin just for band-aids? Unless you are crazy accident-prone or wield sharp knives frequently, probably not necessary. But First Aid? That’s more like it. Broad categories provide the framework for solid organization while allowing for the flexibility to adapt and change with time. It’s all about sustainability. – The Orderly Space (Find us on Instagram)
Work with your own routine and habits
Getting organized isn’t about making your home perfect 100% of the time and working against the grain but becoming self-aware and working with your own systems that you already have to make your life more efficient and much easier. For example, sure it’d be ideal to always put my clothes away as soon as I’m done with them, but I know that I have a habit of throwing them on the floor right outside my bathroom. So I placed a tall basket right in that spot and I know when that basket gets full, it’s time to set aside a little time and put those clothes away. Pro tip: play some tunes, grab a buddy, and make folding fun. – The Honey Bee Professional Organizing
Store everyday items in easy to reach places
My best tip when organizing any space is to think about what you use the most. Clutter is anything that doesn’t fit or function in your life. Once you determine your most-loved items, store those items in easy to reach places, like your bedside table, or shelves within your sight line. – B Organized Today
Place a recycling bin and an “outbox” by the front door
Keep a recycling bin or beautiful basket close to your front door for tossing all junk mail into. When we walk through our front door, our first instinct is to put down whatever we are holding. By keeping a bin by our entry, we are promoting the habit of immediately eliminating what’s unnecessary, while keeping things super simple. This alleviates clutter from accumulating, and makes tackling that mail pile at the end of the day or week that much easier. We also have returns, things that need repairing, dry cleaning, etc. Keep these items contained but in view so they get done. Seeing them will serve as motivation and is a visual reminder to drop them off the next time you leave the house. – Urban OrgaNYze
Make your digital calendar your To-Do List
Everything has to happen in real-time to get done so you might as well put tasks directly on a day where you think you’ll have time or you need to start attending to it. You may move it to the next day or week repeatedly but that will only make you more motivated to get it done. If you are overwhelmed by more than your To-Do List connect with a professional organizer virtually to get unstuck affordably. – Finely Sorted Organizing
Connect with your own heart through your beautiful space
The gift of a beautiful space is that it can so easily connect you to your own heart. Tending and organizing your home is like writing love letters to your space every day and who doesn’t adore love letters? Remember that clutter is just a pile of decisions you have not made yet. When you see piles that overwhelm you from that perspective the practice is tapping back into your intuition and trusting you know how to make the right decisions for your life. I challenge you to look at those piles of clutter in this way from now on and act from a place of faith and heart rather than a place of fear and dread. – Organize me, Penelope
Take time every month to tidy up
Organization is ever-changing. Even with systems and structure in place, and even if you have decluttered in the past, the space will need your attention again. Set aside time once a month to tidy the space and get everything back in tip-top shape. – Organize BHAM
Use the “One in, One Out” method
For every item that comes into the house, one item has to leave the house. For instance, every time you buy a piece of clothing, choose another piece to add to your donation bag. Small daily efforts to prune the stuff you’ve accumulated can help keep your whole home under control without requiring a weekend’s worth of effort. – CEO Liz Pearce, Fresh Chalk
Stuff. If you’re preparing to move and all you see around your house is, well, stuff, it can be incredibly overwhelming. Where do you start? How will you organize? Before you get too overwhelmed, take a deep breath, and start working on a plan to chip away at it bit by bit. Here are some decluttering tips to get you started.
Top real estate agents across the country say that the market is hot and favors sellers. If you’ve thought about selling your home and making a move, now is definitely the time to do it.
Do yourself a favor and begin the decluttering and organizing process as soon as you know you’re going to make a move. Better still, make decluttering and organizing a practice long before you plan to move! Moving is stressful and saving this task until it’s time to move is a sure way to create even more chaos.
Make a list
Whether you’re a list-maker or not, you’ll want to create a checklist for organization and moving tasks. Your decluttering checklist is a visual cue for what needs to be accomplished. It keeps you on track. It can also help you feel that you’re making progress each time you cross something off.
Divide and conquer
For those of you struggling to begin, start with the obvious. You know that unopened box you’ve had since your last move? Do you really want to shift it to your new home? What about that electric wok you got years ago...and have never used? That chair you’ve meant to fix but haven’t gotten around to doing it; the fantastic shoes you bought for an event that you’ve only worn them once; the books you’ve read and know you won’t read again – you get the idea. Now is not the time to be sentimental; you need to be discriminating as you go through your home. When all else fails, a little eeny, meeny, miny, moe can help with decision-making if you’re on the fence.
When you’re really struggling to know where to begin, take the room by room approach and start with your bathroom. Starting your purge in the smallest room of the house is an excellent warm-up for the bigger project. And if you want to feel accomplished really quickly, begin by tossing out expired products from your medicine cabinet.
If you’re inclined to hold onto items that are no longer useful to you in your daily life, think about decluttering in terms of boxes that must be moved. Not only are those items taking up valuable space on the moving truck, but they also constitute additional boxes that must be packed – do you really want to make more work for yourself?
Be efficient and organized
As you go room by room or space by space, make things easier by using the three-box method used on many home tv shows. Use one box for items you’ll keep, one for items to sell, and a box for items to donate or trash. Each time you fill a box of things to keep, label it, and seal it – you’re getting the packing done while you work! This works incredibly well if you begin with your spare rooms or storage areas first so that you’re not missing items in the months or weeks before your move.
The great thing about these tips is that they’re applicable even when you’re not planning a move. Be it spring cleaning or an effort to go minimalist, having a plan, and a checklist to guide you through is essential. And if you’re feeling especially adventurous, try using the KonMari method to guide you through your home organization.
If you're looking for a top real estate agent in Orlando, FL , you can find them here!
Let’s take a minute to bust a couple of myths that people have about what professional organizers do. It might be easier to explain by telling you what we don't do.
The What Don’ts
Make you throw things away
What stays and goes is completely up to you. You get to decide what's important and what isn't. We are there to facilitate and encourage.
However if something is dangerous like a 2x4 with rusty nails in the kitchen or hazardous like moldy and water damaged college textbooks then we will strongly encourage removal for the safety of our clients and their loved ones.
Make the decisions for you
We help you through by asking probing questions that help you make realizations and move towards your own answers.
We ask questions like:
Not like a professional house cleaning service. If we're working in an area light dusting, sweeping or wiping down of objects would occur but no deep cleaning.
The What Do’s
Help you decide on
What's important today and what no longer fits or functions in your life
We ask questions like:
Think outside the box
We help you to discover new ways of seeing the items in your spaces. We provide solutions and ideas on how to re purpose items in ways which may have never occurred to you. Sometimes a new set of eyes is needed.
So in essence we just see things differently.
By creating customized systems that make sense to you and your lifestyle
We make sure new homes for kept items will work for you, not what has worked for other clients. Each person and home is unique.
Keep you on track and on Focus
We can make an impact and you can feel lasting change within the first session. This is accomplished by keeping the project on task by establishing goals.