1. Keep a Planner, or Planner App, and actually use it

The planner will actually help you stay on track, believe it or not. Used for tracking classes, assignments, social plans, this is one thing you need to have. And just as important as having and using the planner, it’s important to have only one. Chances are that if you have a planner, a planner app, another calendar or two, something will slip through the cracks and you won’t have some event written down that was actually super important. Plus, only having one planner means that you take less time out of your day to write down events.

2. And on top of that, plan at the beginning of the Week/Month

At the beginning of every new week (or month), sit down and write in your activities, classes and any reminders for the next few days. This includes calling mom, getting new dryer sheets, a new battery for your watch or even just making sure you eat lunch with a friend. It’s hard to do all of this at the beginning of a semester or at the beginning of every day, so working with a weekly basis will probably be the best option. That way, you don’t slip up on anything important.

3. Save the Syllabi. Annotate the Syllabi.

This seems elementary, but so important to being successful in college. If the professor gives you a guide for what to expect or do with the entire semester, don’t lose it. On top of that, mark the syllabus with everything you need to remember. With things like required readings, make sure to make down when the books come into the library or when they will arrive in your mailbox from ordering them online. That way, once you get them, you can start right away. The next thing to do is to highlight the important places or times, like where the class is held, where office hours are held and the date those long papers are due. It’s extra important to remember these things, because asking in class will not look good for you.

4. Create Your Own Due Dates

This concept will honestly save you. When it comes to writing essays, it’s easy to procrastinate. If you have two papers due on the same day, try to finish on on a different date, even if it’s only a week or three days before it’s due. This will mean you’ll have to start sooner, but it means you won’t be scrambling to get the work done, which will mean less all-nighters for you and more happy coffee breaks later. Trust me, this one is a must.

5. Keep the Backpack stocked

Sometimes, your bag will seem a little unorganized. The best way to solve this issue is to keep the backpack stocked with pens, pencils, your planner and a water bottle. In the mornings, all you’ll have to slip in is your laptop and your notebook for class and you’re ready to go!

6. Put a Clean Desk/Floor Policy in place

This may be one of the harder ways to stay organized, but it really does help. At the end of the night, try to have a clean desk with just your computer, lamp and/or books on it with no clutter. It will keep your room tidy and will make it easier to find what you need in the morning. Ditto with the floor. Having clutter on the floor during the week will make it hard to stay focused. In order to have an organized mind, you need to have an organized room.

7. Use the 8/8/8 Method

This is the best way to divide your time to be responsible and to relax. Sleep for eight hours, spend eight working, and the last eight hours are spent for something called “rest,” but is really a wide range of things. This could be time with friends, eating, more sleeping, more eating or maybe going to practice. Whatever you do with the last eight is up to you. Sticking to this method will help you focus on time and keep everything manageable.

8. Use a timer

Work in bursts of time. Some people will swear by 25 minutes of work with a break, but others will say working an hour at a time with a longer break is better. Either way, using a timer will keep you accountable for work and prevent you from procrastinating and wandering towards social media sites like Facebook or Instagram. Plus, you get the reward of a break after a little bit of hard work and sometimes the reward system works best.  

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