15 Organizational Tips for the Fall Semester

The prospect of staying organized as school begins can certainly be daunting, but worry not -- this article offers ways for you to stay on top of everything this semester!

Source: The Organised Student

  1. Get up around the same time every day. According to the Australian Fitness Network, waking up at the same time every day stabilizes your circadian rhythm, increases your productivity, and enables you to create and adjust to a daily routine.
  2. Make your bed after you wake up. Psychology Today reports that people who make their beds every day are overall happier, more energetic, and more successful than their non-bed-making counterparts.
  3. Check the weather and plan your outfit ahead of time. Even if you go to bed with just a vague idea of what you want to wear the following day, it’ll save you tons of time and prevent additional stress in the morning.
  4. Before bed, take a minute to create a rough schedule for the next day. Make a checklist, either on paper or digitally. Even if you don’t cross everything off, it’s an easy way to outline the following day’s tasks. Making yourself aware of everything you need to do helps prevent any unpleasant surprises, and not making the schedule too rigid allows you to be flexible if necessary. I like to organize my tasks by time, from when I wake up to when I go to sleep, but you can organize them in order of importance.
  5. Clear your head. If you can’t get your mind off something, take a moment to write down what you’re thinking. Then, put it out of sight and out of mind. This allows you to focus on more pertinent tasks.
  6. Invest in a quality planner and use it religiously. Make it your personal holy grail. Write down all of your assignments, commitments, thoughts, goals, reminders — whatever crosses your mind. By keeping all of your musings in one place, you can systematically eliminate the things you’ve already taken care of and need not worry about referring to several different sources for reminders.
  7. Utilize a whiteboard for immediate tasks. This way, you can easily erase them as you complete them. Think of this as an abridged version of your planner.
  8. If possible, color-code your class supplies. It may seem elementary, but there’s a reason that our grade-school teachers requested that all science books be green and English books be red. It’s much easier to keep everything together this way.
  9. Keep a password journal. Avoid getting locked out of your student account by having a physical copy of your login information. Dedicate a small notebook to all of your usernames and passwords so as to keep them all in one place.
  10. Compartmentalize your bag. It may seem obvious, but dedicating one pocket to writing implements, one to personal supplies, one to books, and another to additional items can make a huge difference. Nobody likes digging endlessly for a pen or having their water bottle leak all over their laptop.
  11. Employ the two-minute rule: if it takes less than two minutes, do it immediately. Usually, once you get started with a smaller task, you’ll be more inclined to do it for even longer. If not, you still managed to accomplish the minimum.
  12. Use a reward system. Treating yourself after completing more laborious tasks can be all the more motivating to actually get them done.
  13. Schedule a “chore day." If you have a decent block of free time on a particular day, use it to tackle laundry, cleaning, and getting all your books and papers organized. This also affords you some time to mentally relax.
  14. Engage in a leisurely activity for at least a few minutes every day. This allows you to recharge and reorient yourself. Doing an activity that you love for even a little while takes your mind off the more immediate pressures that you may be facing, and it enables you to return to them with a clearer mindset.
  15. Don’t try to accomplish too much in one day. If you take on more than you can handle, it’s all too easy to just give up and abandon everything. Set smaller goals for yourself, and gradually increase them in importance or magnitude as you accomplish each one.

The start of a new semester is always exciting, which makes it all too easy to fall behind. Following some of these tips can help prevent that and enable you to put your best foot forward!