Top Organization Tips & Tricks For Fall
As the school year is approaching, you may be looking at your course schedule and realizing that taking five classes, going to Orangetheory, working a few hours a week, and maintaining an active social life may not be as easy as you think. You may realize that after an entire summer of rest, vacations, and a little bit of work, you can’t even remember what your alarm clock sounds like. You may even drive to campus to move in, and completely forget textbooks and notebooks (we’ve all done it!). If any of these sound familiar… this one’s for you! We’ve compiled a few tips on how to stay organized this school year… even when it seems literally impossible.
Make Google Calendar your BFF
If you’re anything like me, a paper planner is so nice for aesthetics and writing down homework… but I wouldn’t even be able to get to class without my Gcal telling me when it is. Google Calendar or another online planner are perfect for setting meetings, blocking out study time, managing your class calendar, and inviting friends to coffee when you want to put off your homework for just a little bit longer. Bonus: you can manage it on your phone! Let’s be honest, you’re always on your phone.
Nothing is better than waking up in the morning before an 8 AM class and realizing the only thing you have to do is your hair and makeup before you grab everything you need and run out the door (note: if you don’t want to do your hair and makeup, you are so valid in that! It’s just my personal preference). But if all your things are scattered around your room and your favorite Comfort Colors tee is either on the couch or the bottom of your laundry basket, it may be time to set up a nighttime planning routine. Pack your backpack with school supplies, set out clothes and gym clothes for the next day, make overnight oats or your breakfast of choice, and get your water bottle ready for class! Having this routine gives you zero excuse for skipping breakfast or forgetting your textbook on your desk, and it feels so good!
Create Manageable Steps
Unfortunately, you can’t take over the world in one night (and honestly, you can’t write a solid 20 page paper in a night, either). As tough is that is to realize, one of the easiest ways to stay organized through the school year is by taking small steps out of larger chunks of work! Pick a notebook and write down everything you need to do. Break them into little steps, like reading a chapter of a book, outlining an essay, or accomplishing half of your homework problems. When you can visualize what needs to be done in smaller pieces, it makes everything else seem effortless! Plus it makes it that much easier to reward yourself with small breaks when you finish a task!
Utilize your Down Time
There is truly nothing worse than realizing you’ve spent your few half hour breaks throughout the day scrolling through Instagram, meaning you have just that much more to accomplish once you’re back home for the evening. Using your favorite new app Google Calendar, make sure that you’re maximizing your breaks in your day! Even if that’s as simple as setting some goals, responding to an email or two, or even keeping up on your regular IG posting schedule, making a few minutes productive means your evenings can be just a bit more relaxing. And in your evening down time, when your homework is done, treasure that! Turn on The Bachelor in Paradise, throw on a face mask, and remember that you’re a rockstar.
You don’t need to be told again how much sleep helps organization and productivity. Pick a bedtime, and stick to it! Make sure you’re setting yourself a solid bedtime routine so you can actually sleep, but rest up knowing that you’re on top of it this school year.
Staying organized isn’t always easy, but with a little preparation, anything is possible. If this is your first year of college, this year will help shape you as a student; likewise, if this is your senior year, a new routine will set the stage for your life post-grad! Cheers to academic success and personal growth this year!
-Written by Katie Bick, University Tees Campus Manager and student at Willamette University