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Keeping organized

How do I keep my homework more organized, I struggle to keep everything in order and want to be more organized

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Nikki’s Answer

During grad school, I used my notes doc, Google Calendar Tasks, and a physical planner to keep me on track. Each week in my notes document I would make a checklist for what I needed to complete that week and what the due date was. I would then add these due dates as tasks to my Google Calendar. To help me with time management, I would write in my planner which days I planned to complete which tasks/assignments. You may also want to consider making sure each class has its own folder, notebook, or section of a notebook.
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Jen’s Answer

There are some great academic planner products on the market but one thing that works well for a lot of students is blocking out time on their calendar for different studying and homework sessions. Staying on top of homework throughout the week can help you avoid mad scrambles to get a bunch of larger projects done all at once. There is also a book called The Now Habit that has some great tips for organizing work.
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Karen’s Answer

Great you are asking this question. You might start with some simple things. Have a notebook for every class, folders perhaps for projects. Use a calendar, either online or written, which you check every morning to know what is coming up for the day. Try a task list online and use due dates a couple days before actually due so you have a cushion should you need it.

Following the same ritual every day of reviewing what's coming up might help you to be and feel organized.

With every good wish.
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Ridhima’s Answer

Hi,

Being organized makes everything simpler. It allows you to start tasks promptly, saving you from unnecessary searches for misplaced items.

Ensure that your school assignments and class materials are neatly arranged according to subject. Use binders, notebooks, or folders for this purpose. If you notice a habit of stuffing loose papers into your bag or using multiple notebooks for a single class, it's a clear signal to pause and reorganize!

Regularly declutter your backpack. Determine a place for items you wish to keep and discard those you no longer require.

Arrange your workspace. A conducive workspace is critical, preferably a quiet place that allows you to concentrate. Ideally, a desk or table where you can lay out your work is best. Dedicate a specific area for homework.

Manage your time effectively. Utilize a planner or a planning app to keep track of your academic tasks:

- List all your assignments along with their due dates.
- Divide larger projects into manageable portions. Note the completion dates for each segment and plan when to work on each.

Minimize distractions. Multitasking often leads to a lack of focus, which can negatively impact your performance. Keep your devices aside and only check them once you've completed your work.

Remember to take breaks. Short intervals between assignments can aid in maintaining mental sharpness and focus. Stand up, stretch, or take a short walk to rejuvenate your mind.

Keep the momentum going. Upon completing a task, give yourself a pat on the back, saying, "Good job. I've accomplished this." Then proceed to the next task. Keep this rhythm going, ticking off each completed task.

Review your finished work. Place it in the appropriate folder or binder. Prepare your backpack for the next day. Now, you've successfully completed your tasks!

While these skills may seem straightforward, they're not always easy to master. If you need further advice on organizing your work, maintaining focus, or task completion, don't hesitate to seek help from a teacher, school counselor, or parent.
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Jacob’s Answer

Maintaining organization with your homework and assignments is crucial for academic success. Here are some tips to help you stay on top of your coursework:

1. **Use a Planner or Digital Calendar:** Invest in a physical planner or use a digital calendar app to record important due dates, assignments, and exams. Make it a habit to check your planner daily.

2. **Set Priorities:** Determine which assignments are the most important and need to be completed first. Prioritize based on due dates and importance.

3. **Break Tasks into Smaller Steps:** If a project or assignment seems overwhelming, break it down into smaller, manageable tasks. This makes it easier to tackle one step at a time.

4. **Create a To-Do List:** Each day, create a to-do list of tasks you need to complete. Cross them off as you finish them to give yourself a sense of accomplishment.

5. **Designate a Study Space:** Set up a dedicated study area that is free from distractions. Ensure it has all the supplies you need, such as notebooks, pens, and reference materials.

6. **Time Management:** Allocate specific time blocks for studying and completing assignments. Use techniques like the Pomodoro technique (25 minutes of focused work followed by a short break) to maintain concentration.

7. **Color Coding:** Consider using different colors for different subjects or types of tasks in your planner or calendar. This can help visually organize your workload.

8. **Digital Tools:** Explore digital tools like task management apps or note-taking apps that can help you stay organized and sync your tasks across devices.

9. **Keep a Homework Folder:** Use a dedicated folder or binder to keep your assignments and handouts organized by class. This prevents papers from getting lost.

10. **Avoid Procrastination:** Procrastination can lead to disorganization. Try to start tasks as soon as they're assigned, even if it's just making a plan or gathering materials.

11. **Review and Reflect:** Periodically review your notes and assignments to ensure you haven't missed anything. Reflect on your study habits and make adjustments as needed.

12. **Seek Help:** If you're struggling with a particular subject or assignment, don't hesitate to ask your teachers, classmates, or tutors for help. Getting clarification early can prevent confusion later.

13. **Stay Consistent:** Establish a daily routine that includes time for studying and organizing. Consistency can help reinforce good habits.

14. **Use Technology Wisely:** While digital tools can be helpful, be mindful not to get distracted by social media or unrelated websites during study time.

15. **Declutter Regularly:** Periodically clean out and declutter your study area and backpack. Remove any unnecessary items or papers.

Remember that staying organized is a skill that takes practice and discipline. Don't get discouraged if you slip up occasionally; the key is to keep working on your organization habits. Over time, you'll become more efficient and less stressed when it comes to managing your homework and assignments.
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Alison’s Answer

Great question - organization is a key skill for school and work!

I think it is all about having a process and planning my time. I take a 3-pronged approach:
1) clear to do list with deadlines and priority (e.g. an assignment due tomorrow with 40% I'd prioritize over an assignment due in 5 days worth 10%). I just keep my "to do list" in a phone "notes" page and number it by order of priority and I review it every morning to make sure that is still the right order.
2) use my calendar to both put due dates/deadlines so I can plan ahead and block time to complete each assignment, being realistic about how much time it will take and making sure I block enough time so I don't feel stressed or rushed
3) "80/20 rule", which I think means 80% is good enough and that last 20% can take a lot of extra time for minimal impact (e.g. if you spend 2 more hours on a homework assignment and your mark only goes up by 1 point, probably wasn't worth the time)
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