I know you have heard it all before: the “tried and true” tips for staying organized. Everyone has what works best for them, but the bottom line is that staying organized is so essential for a successful semester (and life). During a time when everything is so uncertain, and online classes are so much harder to get ahold of, it is that much more crucial to stay organized. I personally get so overwhelmed and stressed when I feel like I do not have control over my assignments and responsibilities. Because of this, I have found a few things that help me to stay organized and on top of my classes.
- Buy a planner (and actually use it)
This is probably the most basic way to stay organized. And yet, so many people still do not use one! Basically, any planner will do (Target has so many to choose from, and the one I use is linked here). The point is to write out your assignments every week, and that way when it is time to do your homework, you have it all in one place and know exactly what to do. Also, it is so satisfying to cross things off your list once you have completed them.
- Have a monthly calendar
For all of your long-term exams, papers, and other assignments/events, I think that a full month calendar works the best! The one I use is a whiteboard I have hung on my wall, right above my desk. I find that separating my day-to-day assignments from my longer-term ones helps me to keep everything organized and in order. Also, having a monthly calendar that is separate from those in your planner is helpful because you can always see what bigger assignments you have coming up without flipping through!
- Plan out your week
At the beginning of every week, usually on Sunday afternoons, I plan my week out using a weekly planning pad. I write out my classes, meetings, appointments, and even when I am going to workout or grocery shop throughout the week! It is so much easier to stay on track and on top of your life when you know what each day is going to look like. Using my weekly planning pad and my planner together allows me to have a to-do list. Once I know that I have done everything I needed to do for the day, I feel so much better relaxing with my nightly dose of The Crown!
- Change up your environment
Being cooped up in your room all day is definitely not ideal. Honestly, it is probably my least favorite part of this online semester, and not the best for my mental health either. With that being said, I have found that I am so much more productive (and honestly happier) when I mix up my work environment. My favorite places to go in Winston-Salem are Canteen (downtown) and Dough Joe’s (in Reynolda Village)! Plus, now that the weather is getting so much nicer, doing work outside is just amazing.
- Take time for yourself
This virtual semester, and all of the other aspects of life that the pandemic has changed, has impacted us all… and not in a good way. While school and taking your studies seriously are important, they aren’t everything. Taking time to do things that you enjoy is so important for your mental sanity. These past couple of weeks have been very difficult for me, but I realized that going down a black-hole of academic stress only made me less productive and organized. Going on a walk, going to your favorite workout class, watching an episode of a show you love, or just hanging out with friends are all ways to keep yourself happy so that your tasks are less tedious. (You can also pen-in the time for the things that you enjoy in your weekly planning pad!) It’s all about balance!