1. Get Into a Routine
Establish a routine that is consistent day-to-day and week-to-week. This will be a new habit you are forming, so give yourself time to settle in. Try the following tips to establish a routine:
- Write down your general weekly schedule on a whiteboard or calendar.
- Establish time blocks that you will spend doing your homework. This schedule can help focus your time and stay on task.
- Remember your routine may change if a last-minute obligation comes up. You can update your schedule to plan ahead and adjust accordingly.
2. Set Rules for Yourself
Setting rules for yourself can help you understand what you need to complete each day and not feel rushed to complete an assignment. Some rules you could make to keep yourself on track might be:
- Complete all projects two days before the due date.
- Start studying for tests one week in advance.
- Finish essays three days before they're due.
3. Write Everything Down
Write down everything — homework assignments, test dates, essay topics and even little details like how to turn in your paper. That way, you don't have to remember it and you can use your writing as a way to double-check what you need to complete. Create a weekly calendar that includes all of your classes(exact titles), daily assignments you are going to complete for each class to stay on track, and tutoring links like Mr. Archer's tutoring sessions (Schedule here). Also, the GMCS Core Subject teachers including Math, Science, History, and English are available daily to support you with your assignments.
4. Set Your Own Deadline
Create a new deadline at least two days ahead of the actual class deadline. Plan ahead and complete the assignments according to your early due dates rather than the ones your instructor assigns.
Deciding on an earlier due date will reduce your stress as you will not be working on the assignment last minute. It also allows for extra time in case the task takes longer than expected or you have an unforeseen issue.
5. Don't Multitask
Multitasking seems like it would be beneficial because you could get more done in less time. However, studies show focusing on one thing at a time can help with accomplishing a task. Focus on one assignment at a time, and only turn your attention to the next task when you've completed the first.
6. Use Tools to Stay Organized
You can find a vast array of school supplies dedicated to keeping your materials organized. They can keep everything you need for your classes and assignments together so that nothing gets lost or misplaced.
Consider using these tools in particular:
- Planner: Write down your schedule and assignments as you're given them.
- Multi-pocket backpack: Use the various pockets to organize your items so that you know exactly where to find them.
- Pencil pouch: Keep your writing utensils together to avoid digging through your backpack before each class or losing supplies.
- Folder: Keep all papers for a class in one central location. Use a different folder for each course to find items more easily.
- Notebook: Get a notebook for each class to keep all relevant information together.
7. Use a Planner
A planner can be one of the most useful tools for organizing your school work because you can visually see everything on your schedule.
Write down all homework, projects and test due dates with one color and sports practices, extracurricular meetings and family obligations with another. This way, you can remember everything you need to do. When you get to class, put your planner on your desk so that you can immediately write down anything the teacher mentions.
A variety of digital options are also great possibilities.
Planners come in various formats, so find one that works best for you. Most retail stores sell them, or you can print template pages online. Choose your 7-Step-Planner and download for free today!
8. Take Organized Notes
Notes will only be useful if you record them with a method you can understand later. These might include:
- Cornell method: Record only key points and questions rather than all the instructor's examples. Then, summarize the main ideas at the bottom of each page.
- Mind map method: Draw bubbles and lines and label them with key points to connect similar ideas.
9. Color-Code and Label Everything
Color-coding your materials is a visual cue that allows you to easily see what belongs together. For example, buy a blue folder and notebook for math, a red folder and notebook for science and so on.
Placing labels on these items can help your organization by giving everything a designated place. In a folder, you could use the left pocket for previous assignments and the right for new ones, for instance.
10. Break Down Big Tasks Into Smaller Ones
Looking at everything you need to do for a big task, like writing an essay, can seem overwhelming and discouraging. By breaking it down into easily manageable parts, you can work on parts of the assignment each day and not feel rushed.
A breakdown for writing an essay could look like this:
- Pick your essay topic.
- Read three articles on the topic.
- Write your thesis statement.
- Write your first main point.
- Write your second main point.
- Write your third main point.
- Proofread the essay.
- Finish formatting.
- Turn it in.
11. Use memory aids
Memory aids are a helpful way to remember tasks and materials. Have the student use tangible items such as: sticky notes, rubber bands, index cards, alarm clock, a watch or a timer.