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Study and Planning Tips to Keep You Organized In Spring 2021

Somehow the first few weeks of a semester always seem to be simultaneously the most and the least hectic. The biggest projects might not have kicked off yet, but somehow just getting back into the mindset for class, studying, and homework can make it seem like the most exhausting few weeks of the year. Although I didn’t set many official goals or resolutions for 2021 other than to drink more water and eat more raw, plant-based foods, an unofficial goal of mine is to make this semester the most organized one yet.


  1. Invest in a planner, if you haven’t already


For the first time ever, I bought a planner. I feel like I’m a little late to the game, but I have to tell you I’m obsessed. Although it’s hard to believe, previous to this year I was relying entirely on just my brain to keep everything organized, and by some miracle, I’ve maintained a nearly perfect academic record despite that error in judgment. Although things rarely seemed to slip through the cracks for me, the mere fact that they occasionally did make me think it was finally time to invest in a daily planner. In order to incentivize me to keep up with it, I paid a little extra for a pretty planner that fit my personality (I got mine from Society6), and I also got stickers. My sticker pack is specifically for students and it comes from Agenda 52, and I LOVE it. Not only are the stickers eye-catching but putting down stickers to mark important deadlines has helped me cement my love for my planner and made me more organized.  

     2. Procrastinate intelligently


Notice that I’m not telling you not to procrastinate, or even to schedule procrastination time, so much as just to procrastinate smart. Do you remember the old phrase, “Working smarter, not harder?” This is an extension of that. Procrastination can be an important part of maintaining mental health when it’s done correctly and thought of as giving yourself a well-deserved break instead of as putting something off. Some of my procrastination techniques include: watching one YouTube video before starting my next assignment, listening to the news, or even doing something else that I also need to do like unloading the dishwasher or one of my much easier assignments. Whatever you do, make sure that you’re procrastination helps you more than it hurts you.


      3. Strive for the best, not for perfection


Sometimes when you’re doing work, it’s too much to ask for if you’re waiting for everything to be perfect. Doing your best is okay, and sometimes the standard of what is your best changes. This year has been weird, and this semester will continue to be weird. Taking time for you can help you achieve your best, but obsessing over perfection will never put you there.


      4. Find dedicated times for your coursework in certain classes


Many classes follow predictable schedules, particularly online asynchronous classes. Usually, all your assignments will be due on the same day each week, so what I like to do is pick times that work for me every week to get predictable coursework done. For example, I concentrate better on harder things earlier in the day, so I’ll do my harder Chinese homework during the day time, and focus on reading for my asynchronous communications class at night. The most important thing is to know yourself and what helps you work best. The second most important thing is to really keep those dedicated times as dedicated times, try your best not to procrastinate then. Keeping a routine is a really important part of maintaining motivation and achieving success.


That’s it! My top four tips for keeping organized in Spring 2021. Hopefully, these four tips help you to achieve your academic goals through another semester at Zoom University! Good luck!



My name is Lauren, I'm currently a senior at the University of Hawaii at Manoa double majoring in Chinese and communications, I'm also a very passionate Planned Parenthood volunteer/intern. In my free time I like to dance salsa and read books on the beach.
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