10 tips to stay organized this year

<p><em>DN PHOTO BREANNA DAUGHERTY</em></p>

DN PHOTO BREANNA DAUGHERTY

Since January is National Get Organized month, take advantage of the first month of the new year to get yourself organized and ready to take on the year ahead. These 10 tips will help you to declutter your life, stay on top of your commitments, and end procrastination for good.

Get a planner

A planner will be your best friend, especially if you have a busy schedule. Write down everything you need to remember, even if you think there’s no way you’ll forget it—you probably will. When you first get a syllabus in the beginning of the semester, write down each due date and exam date, so you won’t miss anything.

Make a to-do list

List everything that you need to get accomplished for the day, in order of priority. It can be helpful to first knock out the task you’re dreading most, and then focus on the rest. On an exceptionally busy day, even pencil in time to eat, work out, or just relax so you can stay on top of your game.

Do it now

Procrastination is the college student’s worst enemy. As aphorist Mason Cooley said, “Procrastination makes easy things hard, and hard things harder.” When a professor gives an assignment, write it down in your planner that you now know to have, and get started ASAP. You will thank yourself later.

Throw away the clutter

At the beginning of each week, throw away things that are useless to you: old receipts from your purse, fast food bags from your car, etc. Beginning the week in a clean environment will do wonders for your productivity.

Put it away

Along the lines of a clean environment, put things away right when you are finished using them. Wash your dishes after you dirty them. This helps avoid coming home to a sink full of dishes and no time or energy to clean them all. Put clothes away at the end of the day and you’ll save time cleaning your room later. This will also save you time looking for things later.

Make your bed when you get up

This seems like a silly task, but making your bed right when you get up will make your room look cleaner and it keeps you from crawling back in it.

Get sleep

Getting adequate sleep is the college student’s biggest weakness. With so much to do and seemingly so little time, sleep is put on the back burner. Sleep deprivation leads to more illness, feeling more stressed out, and decreased academic performance, according to sleepfoundation.org.

Use a timer

Plan to work on an assignment diligently for 30 minutes with no distractions. After the 30 minutes is up, take a five minute break, then get back at it for 30 more minutes and repeat the process. The timer will keep you accountable and prevent you from wasting time when you should be working.

Use the 8/8/8 method

College requires a lot of commitments like staying on top of your schoolwork, staying healthy and rested, and keeping a social life. Balance the 24 hours you’re given each day. Spend eight hours working, eight hours sleeping, and eight hours for the rest of your life.

Go easy on yourself

It’s okay to make mistakes. It can be difficult to stay on top of everything in your life; all that matters is that you do your best. 

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