The first week back to school is sometimes the most organised week of your year. You’ve prepared for it in advance. After that week sometimes organisation goes out of the window and it may seem difficult to keep on top of all of your schoolwork. Want to change that cycle? Let’s do it together.
Organise: School-work/Personal Time Balance
Getting the balance between working and having personal time is difficult. Sometimes you may be distracted and do next to no work or on the other hand, you could completely over work and have no time to yourself. Both of these extremes are not good for you and it’s really important to find the middle ground.
We’ve found the best and easiest way to get the balance is to create a timetable. Follow these steps to create yours.
- Make a list of the things you want to accomplish every week, i.e. workout four times, study half an hour a day, or meditate every two days
- Next incorporate everything you do that has a set time which cannot be altered into the timetable, i.e. after-school clubs or exercise classes
- Then incorporate all of your weekly goals off of your list into your free time
You could either write this timetable on a piece of paper or write it in your notes in your phone. This, below, is an example of one of ours.
Organise: School Supplies and Work Books
After creating a timetable, you may want to purchase a planner. Having something that has all of your schedule, class timetable, and assessment dates, is so pleasing. We like paper copies of things and having the literal planner in our hands, however some people are different. Quite a lot of students like to have everything in their phones. This is also okay. iOS and Andriod have many apps that will help when having work and timetables on your phone. Some of these are mentioned below in the Apps section.
As well as having an organised schedule, having organised work is important. If you have all of your notes for each different subject separate it is so much easier to study a particular thing. As you move up in school, you will have more notes for each class, so sectioning them is a good idea. However boring you find organisation, it will help you!
From personal experience, we recommend having a folder for nearly every one of your subjects. Obviously for classes like Woodwork and Physical Ed. you may not need one but for writing-heavy subjects like English and Business it’s good to have your notes separated. Before you begin screaming “I don’t have any money” look in basic shops. In the UK, Poundland and Tesco sell really cheap folders. If you are in the US, Target and Walmart are probably the easiest place to go. If all else fails, look online! Folders are cheap as chips.
As well as folders, spend the extra money to buy highlighters and Post-It notes. Highlighters make studying so much easier as you can colour code everything! We especially recommend them for analysis work on pieces of writing. Post-It notes come in handy for everything. If you know you’re going to forget a date for something but you don’t want to write it permanently in your folder, a Post-It note is the way forward. If you need to remember what to study later on, we also use them to stick in our planners with a list of what sub-topics to revise later on.
Investing in these inexpensive things can make your time at school easier and less-stressful.
Mornings can be hard. If you haven’t had enough sleep or you slept badly, you can be moody and feel groggy. When the alarm goes off in the morning, we all get to the stage where we want to sleep for another 3 hours. Breaking a horrific sleep pattern is genuinely really difficult. After you may have been sleeping from midnight to 6am, it’s hard to change the routine your body is so used to. However sleep is so important and everyone should get enough. A big issue with struggling to sleep is putting your phone down. Before you sleep, put your phone on the other side of the room and turn it on Do Not Disturb (don’t worry, in settings you can set it so it doesn’t mute calls from your favourite contacts so if someone in your favourites is phoning you, you will be woken up). Many people dont realise the reason they cant sleep is because they sit on their phone until the moment they close their eyes. It’s good to have around half an hour before you sleep reading or writing. If you tend to have a lot of late night thoughts, keep a pad of paper and a pen next to your bed and write them there. You can write them in your phone the next day! I (B) aim for 9 hours sleep every night. Yes, I have to go to bed around 9pm on a school night, but if it means I’m not moody and tired in the morning, it’s worth it. It also means you don’t spend your whole weekend sleeping and you can get up and enjoy the days off!
Another way to get more sleep time is getting up later in the morning. Some people we know get up ridiculously early because they are unorganised. If you make the most of school nights and get as many things done as you can instead of rushing in the morning, you can get up later. Laying out your clothes and packing your bag prior to the morning means there are less jobs for you to do before school. If you want to go further in completing tasks the night before, you could even make your breakfast and lunch for the next day.
Here are some of our favourite apps we use while in school. We’ve sectioned them off into categories.
Learning a Language
Creating Music/Learning an Instrument
Writing Down Ideas
Go smash your goals