5 Tips for Staying Organized


We’re at that point in the semester when there are fifteen things to do, and only enough time to maybe attempt ten of them. Organization and time management is definitely a learned skill—it’s possible for anyone to do! The thing is, it can be hard to figure out exactly how to get and stay organized. After four years of high school marching band and four more years of college… well, college… I’ve discovered a few ways to keep yourself organized!

One: Get a Planner

This one seems obvious. Some colleges even give agenda books to students! But not all agenda books are created equal. Ditch the flimsy one with weird-smelling pages and drop some cash on a nice one. Day Designer is one example of a terrific brand with gorgeous planners. Daily planners are best for college students, but there are also weekly ones for those who have simpler schedules. A planner that you love will make you so much more excited to schedule your days, and it’s not too much of an eyesore, either.

Two: Use Checklists

If you’re anything like me, you’ve got too many notepads lying around. Anything from grocery list pads to scrap paper can be used to make simple checklists. If you want to save the environment, you can also look into apps like Todoist, which have desktop and mobile versions. Checklists are especially useful in helping you plan for the long-term and see your progress in real-time. Break tasks down into their simplest forms and watch your productivity soar!

Three: Set Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Goals

Maybe you want to drink more water, or go to the gym, or read more books. Whatever the case, setting goals for yourself—and writing them down—will help shape you into a stronger, more dedicated person. Use one index card for each timeframe (day, week, month) and write every task you want to complete. For example, your weekly goals could be to tidy your room, do your laundry, and go to the gym. Seeing your goals written down is the perfect way to encourage yourself to actually follow through with them. For extra organization, slip them into your planner, or post them beside your bed.

Four: Clean Up!

Cleanliness is, as you know, next to godliness. Something as simple as making your bed in the morning can have a positive effect on your mood, and sets the tone for your productivity throughout the day. Personally, I try to make my bed and hang up my clothes every day. Being in a clean room is refreshing, and saves you from being overwhelmed by a complete pigsty in a few weeks. That way, you won’t waste an entire day having to sort through your dirty laundry and dusty shelves.

Five: Set Rewards for Yourself

You’ve just reached your goal of reading three books this month! Instead of just sitting there and letting the feeling fade, treat yourself to ice cream or a movie or something else that you love. It is particularly important to add rewards to goals that are difficult to obtain or time-consuming, because the prospect of a delicious bowl of rocky road is going to propel you forward and encourage hard work. You can take a nap after finishing that chapter reading, or you can go on a shopping spree when you’ve landed that internship. Whatever it is, treat yourself—you deserve it!