Disappointed in your performance the previous semester? As a new semester begins, take time to reflect on the previous semester and how you would like to improve. A lot of issues you may have come across were likely a result of being disorganized. With a busy school schedule, plus internships, extracurricular, and a social life, it’s easy for things to slip through the cracks.
Look at your own habits and ask yourself if you revamp your organization system. If you find yourself falling victim to the following common organization problems, follow our tips to get on track this semester!
Problem: Forgetting important dates and deadlines
It’s time to go old fashioned and purchase a planner. You may think just using your phone or a computer app is enough to stay organized, but there’s power in writing things down. In a study by a Princeton professor, they found that students were more successful at remembering things when they took notes by hand.
Make it your goal to write down any important dates, events and deadlines that come up for the next three weeks – minimum. From there, it will likely become habit.
Having a planner also makes it easier to look back on what you completed in the past, because you’re not constantly deleting tasks once they’re done.
Problem: You misplace school supplies & assignments
Throwing papers and quizzes haphazardly into your book bag is a recipe for disaster. Start your new semester with a clear organization system for your binders, notebooks, and books. It’s easier to get back on track when you have a clear system in place from the beginning.
Clearly label your notebooks and folders, and make sure you have enough for each class. Buying a a different folder for each class, all in different colors, helps you remember what needs to go where – and what to take with you.
Commit to following through on putting papers and assignments in the right folders immediately, taking notes in the write notebooks, and then storing these in the same place on your desk.
Problem: Your class notes seem worthless
It’s common problem – sitting down to study for a test and feeling like your notes were written in code.
When taking notes, first, try taking them with a pen and paper, instead of typing on your computer. As mentioned earlier, this can help with retention, and assists you in only writing down the most important things, instead of just noting your professor’s speech verbatim.
If a professor is mentioning something you could look up in your textbook later, take note of that. Pay attention to what will exclusively be available in the lecture. Handwriting your notes also allows you to easily underline, star, or point back to other areas in the lecture.
Keep your notes clearly dated, with headlines for different topics. At the end of each lecture, reach back over your notes and highlight anything the professor continued to emphasize. You can even experiment with writing yourself a small summary to remind yourself the main focus of the class.
Starting off on the right foot each semester can be huge in your grades and overall performance. Get organized, and good luck!