Best Ways To Stay Organized

As AP Exams and finals are approaching, students may begin to experience considerable stress. One great way of handling this downpour of deadlines and anxiety is to take things step by step and start to organize priorities. Being organized is not something that can be done in an instant, but small efforts can accumulate to become a tool that can lead to success. With several deadlines and stressful weeks ahead, starting preparation with a clean state of mind and with everything in place can prove really beneficial.

Organization can come in many different forms, and is surprisingly easy to accomplish with the right mindset. It also offers a variety of benefits. For instance, with a more organized lifestyle, it has been found that any stress one may feel almost “melts” away, as the subject finds themselves in a much calmer state. In addition, being organized helps improve focus, a direct correlation to performing better in school.

To those wondering how to get organized in a small amount of time, there are several easy-to-implement recommendations. For instance, making to-do lists is a great option. By writing down your tasks for the day, and ordering them based on importance, it becomes really easy to set a roadmap for accomplishing your goals. If you are able to make this list correctly, you won’t find yourself off track or forgetting to do something. This can be especially helpful on weeks with several deadlines or looming assignments. Sarina Shah (11) says that she often makes to-do lists, but on her phone instead. “The reminder app is really helpful,” she mentions, “as it both serves as a to-do and something that I can check frequently.”

Another great step to take is to invest in a planner. Whether it be online or physical, these are really great to keep track of your life, as they provide space for ideas beyond to-do lists. The concept of bullet journals, something that has grown increasingly popular on social media, is a great alternative. A planner (or bullet journal) offers you space to plan out any aspect of your life (school, work, etc.) and opens up an outlet for creativity. 

Something key to getting organized is to learn to eliminate distractions. Students are often sidetracked playing video games on their phones or scrolling through Instagram while doing their homework. While these may seem relaxing at the moment, it’s best to put away these distractions until you’re on a break. This careful usage of time is another component of staying organized. While this may seem hard to do, there are several apps that students use to help them stay focused while working. Raneem Hassanein (11) recommends the popular app Forest. “It helps me stay on track by locking my phone and other distracting apps when I’m in  ‘deep focus mode,’” she mentions. This app, both aesthetic and practical, is widely known for its cute tree-based system. Users, when starting deep-focus mode, “plant” a tree for a designated amount of time, which locks distracting apps on their phones. If they find themselves needing to exit this focus mode, the tree withers and is added to the user’s garden.

Being organized is a task easier said than done. However, a few small steps, such as starting a planner or making a daily to-do list really help ease the stress students may feel.