7 Smart Organization Tips for College Students

organization tips for college students

In a recent study of what makes the transition from high school to college so difficult, time management and self-motivation were cited frequently by students.

A big key to both time management and self-motivation is organization. College students have tons of assignments to complete, books to read, and meetings to attend.

Having a disaster of a workspace is going to make staying on top of it all next to impossible.

Read on for 7 of our top organization tips for college students! 

1. Use a Planner

One of the best ways to avoid forgetting an important assignment is to keep a planner that allows you to document all of your upcoming deadlines. The trick? Don't schedule out too far.

If you record your upcoming deadlines each week, they'll be fresh in your brain. Plus, professors have a tendency to alter or drop certain assignments and change deadlines due to unforeseen events like canceled classes. Nothing is more annoying than spending hours documenting five full syllabus in your planner just to learn that everything has changed!

2. Go Beyond the Planner with Post-it Notes

Planners are great but you may want to go the extra mile. Post-it notes are a great way to remind yourself not only of your homework assignments but also of the day-to-day tasks you need to complete.

In fact, there are tons of custom post-it note uses! Write whatever you need to remember, from, "Finish essay," to, "Cook meals for the next few days," and stick them anywhere you're bound to notice them. That way, even if you forget to look at your planner or leave it somewhere on campus, you will still have reminders all over your dorm or apartment. 

3. Keep Your Notes Organized by Class

Whether you type your notes on a laptop or tablet or handwrite them on notebook paper, it's important that you keep them organized by class. If you start taking notes for the same class in different notebooks (or saving them to different folders on your computer) you're going to have a rough go of it when it's time to study.

Plus, when your notes are organized by class, you're going to save yourself a lot of time. Plenty of college professors want you to write digital responses to the day's course material and you don't want to spend several minutes digging through all of your stuff looking for the right set of notes.

4. Develop a Homework Routine

Consistency is a great way to create good habits and stay on top of things! If you get into a regular homework routine during your first semester of college, you'll have a much easier time getting through homework as the years pass and your course load grows harder.

Your routine is totally up to you. Some people focus best when they first wake up and some don't feel ready to go until sometime after lunch! Adjust your routine as needed until you find the optimum homework time for you.

5. Avoid Constant Multitasking 

When it comes time for homework, eliminate distractions to the best of your ability. That means no phone (or at least no social media time), no noisy roommates, and no television. You may think you're a great multitasker, but the reality is that your work is probably suffering and it's taking you longer to get through your assignments.

You should also do your best to focus on one assignment at a time. Staying on top of your planner should help because you'll have a grasp on which assignments are due earliest in the week. Every time you switch back and forth between subjects, you're tacking on the extra time it will take to get out all of the right course materials and get your head back in the zone of each subject.

6. Declutter

In college, you get a lot of handouts. You get a lot of fliers, too. In fact, after a full day on campus, you may find yourself with a backpack full of paper, only half of which is useful.

At the beginning or end of each week, go through the materials and junk you've accrued. Throw out the stuff that isn't related to classes or events that you are attending. While you're at it, throw out the old food containers and empty water bottles, too. 

When your work area is clean and clear, it's more inviting and less stress-inducing. Decluttering every week or so will prevent the mess from becoming unmanageable!

7. Prioritize

There is always a ton going on around campus. There are, of course, classes, but there are also events, guest speakers, and meetups with friends. At some point, you'll have to accept that you can't do it all and learn to prioritize.

Keep a mental checklist of the things that you have to do, the things that you want to do, and the things that you could take or leave. For example, you have to go to class, do your homework, and attend meetings for the organizations you're involved in. You want to attend fun events like concerts and game days and you want to make as much time for your friends as possible.

Take care of the things you have to do in a timely manner. The less you procrastinate, the more time you have for the things you want to do. However, don't forget that sometimes, you'll simply have to say, "No," to things that aren't your top priorities in college or university.

Try Out Our Organization Tips for College Students

Starting college is an exciting time but it's also an overwhelming time. With our organization tips for college students, you'll be on track to success in a flash!

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