Three Organizational Tips for Entering a New Quarter

Winter quarter is about to start and the thought of being back in school has given me an overwhelming amount of anxiety. Thinking about everything I need to get started on whether it be classes, internship hunting, or other responsibilities, my brain feels like it's constantly spinning on six different hamster wheels. However, sometimes when I find myself overwhelmed with reasonability through one small computer screen, I like to spend a day to a week organizing my life. Here are some of the best organizational tips I have found that relax my brain and overall calm my space.

  1. 1. Make Your Space Comfortable

    For most people, when their space isn’t clean or organized, it's a lot easier to feel overwhelmed. Jumping back into the new quarter, I like to make sure my work area is freshly cleaned and clutter-free. Staring at a screen all day in one room can be torturing, so making it a space you thoroughly enjoy being in and take off some stress. Try to find things that make you excited about your office, living room, or room, where you can work and be equally relaxed. For instance, I usually do all my work for the day at my desk in my room. Last week I picked up a couple of décor items such as pompous grass, new candles, pretty new curtains, and new lights. I also picked up a planner and new fun-colored pens just to get some excitement flowing to be back in that space. If we are going to be stuck at home, we might as well attempt to make our work areas fun and personalized. I know I work best when my environment is somewhere I feel good in so do what you can to make it cozy for you.

  2. 2. Buy a Planner and Color Coordinate

    pink flatlay workspace

    This week I went a little overboard, to say the least. I ended up color-coordinating my planner, completely reorganized my laptop to the point of even creating customized folder colors, and began writing major events, meetings, and deadlines for the next 2 months. Although that probably wasn’t necessary, I felt a lot better knowing I had everything written down and created this feeling of being prepared even though I may not be. Planning and writing things down helps me organize the chaotic mess in my head and allows the stress to be written somewhere else. Buy a planner, even if you use canvas for a basic planner with homework, having a planner with outside responsibilities can help. Also, who doesn’t love color coordinating?

  3. 3. Plan Your Day by the Hour

    Woman with planner

    Although I know every day I won’t follow this exactly, planning a rough estimate of my daily routine helps me map out how much time I truly have. Start by factoring in how many hours you need for homework each day and go from there. As I did this, I realized I have way more time in the day than I feel like I do, due to prioritizing my time rather than filling it with unproductive activities. You’d be amazed how much time you spend on your phone, procrastinating, or going to other activities when you plan out your day by hours. I made a simple rough schedule factoring in time for classes, clubs, work, and leisure activities, and immediately felt better about my schedule. 

With most classes being online for me, it is hard to feel organized and get into a routine when I could honestly just do everything from my bed. However, finding something that works for you to stay on top of your work and be in an environment that you don’t dread is super important for not only succeeding in school but also your mental health. Try some of these tips and see if they work for you!