Whether it's keeping track of research materials or remembering to bring home a book, students need to be organized to succeed in school. For many students, academic challenges are related more to a lack of organization than to a lack of intellectual ability.
Tips to help get organized:
- Track assignments on a monthly calendar.
- Work backward from the due date of larger assignments and break them into nightly tasks.
- Record how much time you spend on homework each week so you can figure out how to divide this time into manageable chunks.
- Designate a time for nightly homework and stick to this schedule.
- If evenings aren't enough, find other times for schoolwork, such as early mornings, work breaks or weekends.
Sometimes students fall behind in school and fail to hand in assignments because they simply don't know where to begin. Prioritizing tasks is a skill you will need throughout life, so it's never too soon to get started.
- Write down all the things you need to do, including non-school-related activities.
- Label each task from 1 to 3, with 1 being most important.
- Understand your priorities.
- If you label your social activities as 1, then you know where your attention is focused.
Whether you are practicing vocabulary or studying for an anatomy test, it's important that you work on schoolwork in an area with limited distractions and interruptions.
- Turn off access to email, text messages and games when you are working.
- Make the phone and TV off-limits during homework time.
- Find space that fits the assignment. If you are working on a science project, you may need lots of space; if your studying for a Spanish test, you will need a well-lit desk.
- Concentrate during homework time.
Most students say they want to do well in school, yet many still fail to complete the level of work necessary to succeed academically. The reason is often motivation. Tapping into your interests is a great way to get geared to do well in school.
- Link school lessons to your life. If you are learning percentages, figure out the price of a discounted item next time you shop.
- Link your interests to academics. If you're passionate about music, get books about musicians and show how music and foreign languages are connected.
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