Most complaints about adulting are truly frustrations about not being organized.
Organizing tips aren’t something you generally learn from school, but if you are near the end of your high school education or starting university, you are in a perfect position to learn some organization practices.
These 7 organizing tips are a great starter to do your best this school year:
1 – Be Schedule Conscious
Having several different classes with multiple assignments due all week long is tedious enough to follow, but at this stage in your life, there are also loads of extra curricular activities you want to enjoy and participate in.
Being diligent about always knowing not only when your classes are, but when your assignments and tests are due will ultimately give you a little peace of mind with planning upfront.
Know your course work and put important dates on your physical or digital schedule for work that will take longer than one evening to prepare for, such as midterms, papers due, class presentations and finals.
2 – Schedule Your Binges, Too
You have to take breaks to continue to be productive and healthy. Did you know Einstein used to take a nap when he was working on a complicated problem? It worked, he would often wake up and find a solution much easier than toiling over it.
Schedule breaks during the day (seriously, learn to meditate, especially if you aren’t regularly participating in sports) and most importantly schedule a couple big chunks of time off during the week.
You don’t even have to take a whole day off. But if you don’t schedule breaks, you will end up burning out and taking a break at a very inconvenient time messing up your program and well being.
3 – Find Your Style
Knowing which of the seven known learning styles most fit you will help you know the best techniques to study, saving you some time in the long run. Do any of these sound like you?
– Aural or Auditory/Musical: best to use sounds and music
– Intrapersonal or Solitary: best to study and work alone
– Interpersonal or Social: best to study in groups or with others
– Kinesthetic or Physical: best to move around, use body, sense of touch and hands
– Linguistic or Verbal: Best to use words, both in speech and writing
– Logical or Mathematical: best to use logic, reasoning and systems
– Spatial or Visual: best to use images, pictures and spatial explanations to learn from
You can take an online test to know your learning style and then try the techniques best suited to your style(s).
4 – Renew Your Intentions
Why are you doing all of this? If it’s for success in this life, to please your parents or impress others, will you truly have success? Always renew your intentions and pray for Allah’s support. Even in your daily Prayers, regularly talk to Allah.
Have faith that doing your best in all things – including school – will ultimately make you the best person you can be in all areas of your life.
Maybe you are going to school because you have to, but do you intend to be the best person and believer you can be?
Organize your purpose. You can tie your deen and dunya together with your intentions.
5 – Use Accountability
Joining a study group is a proven tool for studying well, another effective tool to achieve any of your life goals is having an accountability buddy.
This could be a friend who is also interested in having this kind of commitment to helping hold each other accountable or it could be a mentor.
To organize your accountability, you must regularly check in with your buddy, clearly state your goals and be honest about what you have and haven’t achieved. Then you simple encourage each other and offer solid advice if you have any.
6 – Give Yourself a Gift Every Night
Sounds excessive, I know, but this is how I think of prepping my things for the following day. It is such a great way to start the day with things organized and ready for you in the morning.
Every night you can spend a few minutes getting things ready: pack your bag, choose your breakfast, have your clothes ready and so on.
7 – Celebrate Your Successes
This is something almost everyone forgets or maybe thinks is immodest, like bragging. Not at all! Before hurling yourself at the next project, pause and be grateful for being able to work so hard and having a success.
Even little successes add up. Acknowledge them in anyway that feels right to you, such as having a treat, taking a break or maybe doing something you’ve always wanted to try. Let the reward fit the success.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
Organization is often thought to be an inherited skill, but it’s not, it is learned. There are many techniques you can practice. Take a little time to explore them and remember that is takes a couple of weeks to fully gain a new habit, so just keep employing these organizing habits until they are truly yours.
First published: September 2019