Get organized with a schedule that works for you
We’ve all done it. It’s the night before your exam/test/assignment/presentation and you are bent over your desk, palms sweaty, trying to fit three weeks worth of work into a single evening. If only you had started earlier! You swear that if you get through this, you will never leave anything to the last minute again. If you are serious about that promise, then you need to get organized.
Being an effective student means applying yourself throughout the year, rather than cramming all your studying in just before the exams. Working effectively during the year will mean that your class marks are high and that you have a good grasp of the material before you begin studying. Learning to manage your time and workload is an essential life skill that will make you a happier, more organized person.
Get a diary: Use a phone app, get a book, make a schedule for your wall or create a diary file on your computer. Whatever will get your attention and is easiest for you to use.
One for one: Set aside one hour of study time for every hour of class time. During this time, you should do homework, study for tests and prepare your projects and assignments for each class. Put this study time into your diary and stick to it.
Worst first: Schedule the study time for your hardest subjects first. This will mean that your brain is fresh and you will be more likely to complete your work than if you left the worst until last.
Balance your time: Alternate one or two-hour study sessions with other activities. This can mean spending time with friends and family or playing sport. Don’t set aside unrealistic times for study and don’t take on too many after-school activities that may jeopardize your study time. Be disciplined about spending time with friends. Remember that friend time is more fun when you don’t have that guilty feeling that you should be studying.
To Do: Make a daily and weekly “To Do” list that reminds you of upcoming events, tests, exams and project due dates so that you don’t get caught off guard.
Reward yourself: Plan fun events, trips or relaxing “you” time for when you have completed your studies. This will give you a guilt-free break and help you to recharge for your next study session.