Staying Organized During a Busy Semester

Despite the fact that COVID-19 has transferred many classes and activities to online platforms, it hasn’t made this semester any less hectic. With a lack of a routine, it’s been that much harder to keep on top of dates, deadlines, and schoolwork. With the weather and general lack of normalcy from the pandemic, I’ve found it more difficult than ever to stay ahead on schoolwork and find motivation. My saving grace has been these few organizational practices that I’ve picked up throughout college.

1. Utilize a Planner

I’m constantly surprised when I talk to people who don’t use planners to keep their schedules straight. I would certainly be lost without mine. In my opinion, this is one of the most important and easiest ways to stay organized. At the beginning of the semester, I write down all of the due dates from my syllabi and use a different color pen for each class. I continue to color code my work schedule, activities, or any other dates that I need to remember. Even on a busy week, looking at my neat, color-coded, planner helps me stay on task. 

2. To-Do Lists

Ironically, to-do lists are my favorite things to utilize. There’s nothing more satisfying than checking all of the boxes off my list. I use to-do lists to help me remember to do small tasks (taking out the garbage, sending an email, laundry, etc.) that would clutter my planner. Target has cute magnetic to-do lists that you can buy in the dollar aisle, which is great for college students. 

3. Goals

For me, a part of staying organized is setting goals for myself. Some of my goals are daily or weekly while others are long-term. Accomplishing a goal makes me feel successful and also helps me to prioritize and organize various aspects of my life. Another Target find that I’ve loved is my goals and rewards list. It’s a two-sided list that includes a section to write down my goals and rewards. I write in the rewards, so they are specifically designed for me and correspond with accomplishing a big or small goal. Whether it be spa-day, dessert, or shopping spree, these rewards have given me a motivator to complete my goals and stay on top of things. 

These three suggestions are only a few of the many ways you can stay organized during a busy semester. If you’re struggling with motivation, I highly recommend going to Target and buying some pens and to-do lists. Color-code your lists, add stickers, and buy a cute planner. Even these minor additions make it easier to stay organized and find motivation during this unprecedented semester!