How Can You Become Organized?
1. Use checklists.
Get into the habit of keeping a "to-do" list. Use checklists to post assignments, household chores, and reminders about the materials to bring to class/activities. You should keep a small pad or notebook dedicated to listing homework assignments. Crossing completed items off the list will give you a sense of accomplishment and allow you to see what is left to do.
2. Organize homework assignments.
Before beginning a homework session, number assignments in the order in which they should be done. Start with the one that's not too long or difficult, but avoid saving the longest or hardest assignments for last.
3. Designate a study space.
You should study in the same place every night. This doesn't have to a bedroom, but it should be a quiet place with few distractions. All school supplies and materials should be nearby. Fight the temptation to do other things (watch TV, talk on the phone, computer, etc.) Make the temptations a "self-reward" for completing your to-do list.
4. Set a designated study time.
You should pre-establish a certain time every day for studying and doing homework. Depending on your extra-curricular activities you may need to fluctuate this time each day, but it is best to keep it the same designated time if possible each day. Even if you don't have homework, the reserved time should be used to review the day's lessons, read for pleasure, work on an upcoming long-term project or simply plan for the next day.
5. Keep organized notebooks.
Keep track of papers by organizing them in a binder or notebook. This will help you review the material for each day's classes and to organize the material later to prepare for tests and quizzes. Use dividers to separate class note from assignments. Separate "to do" and "done" folders help organize worksheets, notices, and items to be signed by parents, as well as provide a central place to store completed assignments.
6. Conduct a weekly clean out.
Sort through and organize book bags, notebooks, and your locker on a weekly basis. Old tests and papers should be organized and kept in a separate file at home.
7. Keep a master calendar.
Keep a large calendar on your wall at home, listing the family's commitments, schedules for extracurricular activities, days off from school, and major events at home and at school. Note dates when you have big exams or due dates for projects. This will help you and your family budget time wisely and avoid an "OH BY THE WAY" crisis.
8. Prepare for the day ahead.
Before you go to bed (or before rewarding yourself with those temptations), pack school work, books, and any needed items for the next day in your book bag. The next's days clothes should be laid out with shoes, socks, and accessories. This will cut down on morning confusion and allow you to prepare quickly for the day ahead. If you do this before your evening "rewards", you can truly enjoy yourself and relax! Don't you hate when you have that moment where you realize "I still have to do that?!!"
9. Don't procrastinate! Fight the urge to say "I'll do it later" if you have time to do it now.
10. Share this list with your parents! Ask them how they can help you reach these goals and get organized!