Organizing your Work
Learning how to be organized, remain focused, and get things done are must-have skills when it comes to managing your life and schoolwork. The more you practice, the better you’ll get. Scroll down to the end of this page for graphic organizer templates to get you started.
Here’s some hints how!
Organize Your Stuff. Being organized makes everything easier. It helps you get to work faster without wasting time looking for stuff.
Keep your books and files organized by subject. Put them in binders with dividers, notebooks, or folders. Colour coding helps. If you find yourself stuffing loose papers in your bag or grabbing different notebooks for the same class, it’s time to stop and reorganize! File papers immediately or at least weekly in their right place! A colourful carousel file really helps …. 🙂
Clean out your backpack regularly. Decide where to keep corrected work and things you want to hold on to. Throw away things and papers you no longer need to carry around.
Organize Your Space. You really need a good workspace — someplace quiet enough to focus. It’s best to work at a desk or table where you can spread out your work. Have a place set aside for homework and studying. That way, when you sit down, your mind knows you’re there to work and can help you focus more quickly. Individualize your space.
Organize Your Time. Use a planner or organization app to keep track of your tasks:
- Write down all your tasks and when they’re due. A wall calendar is a visual reminder, it might work for you.
- Break big projects into bite size pieces. Note the dates when each part needs to be completed. Mark in your calendar/planner when you’ll work on each part.
- Mark the dates you’ll have tests, then make a note of when you’ll study for them. Don’t leave things until the last minute — you’ll only end up working twice as hard to do half as well and be stressed out
- Enter other activities on your calendar including the fun ones 🙂 — such as sports, dance lessons, drama rehearsals, plans with friends, etc. This helps you see ahead of time when things might get too busy to get all your work done. Use your planner to schedule what time you’ll do your schoolwork on days you have other activities. Time management skills here.
Avoid Distractions. When you are multi-tasking you’re less focused. That means you’re less likely to do well on that test. Put away your devices and only check them after your work is done.
Some people concentrate best when it’s quiet. Others say they study best if they listen to background music. If you study with music on, make sure it isn’t going to sidetrack you into singing the lyrics and dancing all over your room. If you find yourself reading the same page over and over, it’s a clue that the music is a distraction, not a help.
Take Breaks. Taking a short break between tasks can help your mind stay fresh and focused.
Get up from your desk, move, stretch, or walk around to clear your head. Allow your mind to absorb what you’ve just studied. Break time is when you can put on a song that makes you dance and sing! Just make sure you get back to your studies in a few minutes. Have a small snack or a chat with a family member for some minutes.
Refocus Yourself. If you find yourself getting distracted and thinking about other things, pull your attention back into study mode as soon as possible. Remind yourself that now it’s time to stay on task.
Getting It Done!
Stay focused as you do the final steps and details. Encourage yourself — you’re almost at the finish line! Check your completed work. Put your work into the right folder or binder. Pack up your backpack for tomorrow. Now you’ve got it DONE!!!
In summary, here’s a quick checklist of things that can help you organize, focus, and get it done:
- DO know your deadlines. Use your calendar or planner.
- DO make a to do list.
- DO make a calendar of stages and final due dates.
- DO include fun events on this calendar for time management.
- DO understand your tasks and what you are expected to do.
- DO find yourself a quiet place to study with all the materials you need.
- DO give yourself brief breaks to recharge.
- DO rest and sleep.
- DON’T put work off until the last minute; you’ll be too stressed to focus.
- DON’T do your homework late at night or in bed.
- DON’T FORGET TO delete tasks from your to-do-list. It’s a great feeling 🙂