5 Tips for Staying Organized Throughout the Semester


Summer’s over. Time to put away that pink polka dot bikini and trade it in for a fluffy sweater, some Ugg boots, and a hot cup of coco!

As fall approaches, there is that looming thought of trading in those warm summer days by the pool for countless hours of studying. It is sometimes hard to get ourselves re-focused and back into ‘school mode.’ We have all been there! One way to help make the transition a little smoother is to get organized. We’ve got 5 tips that will help you to ‘recharge’ and get back into the swing of things and have a great semester!

  1. Get A Planner.

With so many things going on throughout the semester, we often times find that our schedules become super busy. One great way that I find helps me keep my schedule organized is using a planner. There are tons of different styles of planners out there, so whether you choose an electronic planner on your phone, tablet, or computer or you want to go ‘ol’ school’ like me and have a handwritten one, there is certainly a planner out there that will fit your needs. Planners are great in that they give you an opportunity to plan on a large or small scale. You are able to see your day, week, month, or even your year at a moment’s glance.

  1. Get Creative!

Get creative and make your planner unique to your own style and personality. After all, this will be something that you will reference on a daily basis. If using an electronic planner, try adding bold colors and backgrounds to highlight important events and dates. For handwritten planners, trying adding some unique stickies or post-its to note upcoming assignments or tests. Color coding is a great and effective easy way to keep your schedule organized.

  1. Plan Ahead.

Planning ahead can eliminate tons of stress and headaches. Planning out your days and weeks in advance will help you to stay ahead of the game and eliminate overbooking. A great way to plan ahead is to note the event or task in your planner as soon as you are notified.

  1. Learn to Effectively Multitask.

In short, multitasking is the ability to handle multiple tasks at a time. In order to effectively multitask, you must first become an expert at prioritizing tasks. Start by making a list of your scheduled items for the day. Then order the items on your list from top priority to lowest priority. This is an easy and effective way for identifying the most and the least important tasks. Those tasks listed as top priority are the essential tasks and must be completed as soon as possible, whereas the items listed as least important, towards the bottom of the list, could be performed later, or if need be, pushed to the next day.

  1. Take some ‘Me Time.’

This one is so important! With our schedules so busy, we oftentimes end up putting ourselves on the “lowest priority” list and end up becoming tired, stressed out, and overwhelmed.  Along with eating healthy and exercising, it is also important to take some time out for yourself by doing something that does not pertain to work, school, or paying bills. This time should be spent doing something that is low stress and something that you enjoy doing. This could be participating in a hobby, catching up on your favorite book, or talking to an old friend. Taking time out for yourself is a great way to ‘recharge’ yourself so that you can effectively perform your tasks.

There are lots of ways to stay organized, however, these are just a few to get you started. Whichever method you choose to stay organized, remember to start off slow. Starting anything new might seem a bit strange at first, but with patience, you will get the hang of it in no time! If you are new to using a planner, start off slow by planning out just a day and then gradually work your way up. Becoming more organized will lead to decreased stress levels, better time management skills, and overall increased happiness!

Feel free to tell us about how these tips worked for you or if you have any additional organizational tips.

Happy organizing!

Photo Credit: https://www.pexels.com/search/planner/
Shannan Burrell

Campus Contributor

Shannan Dione Burrell was born in Heidelberg, Germany. Growing up, she thrived in the areas of performing arts, participating in dance, theater, and music. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism from Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia, in 2010 and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Film and Video at American University, Washington D.C., where she is scheduled to graduate May of 2017. Shannan has always had a passion for volunteering and helping others within her community. She has been an active member of her church Emmanuel AME Church in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Throughout her years at Emmanuel, she has participated in numerous ministries including the Praise Dance Ministry, Young Adult Ministry, Youth Ministry, and Women’s Ministry. Shannan grew up a member of the Girl Scouts of America organization. Her 12 years as a Girl Scout prepared her to become an effective volunteer within the community and a role model for young women. Shannan is currently volunteering with the Best Kids mentoring program in Washington, D.C., which specializes in mentoring inner city youth and foster children. Shannan also has a passion and vison for storytelling through media. She has over 10 years of experience within the media field, which includes numerous internships with companies including Arena Stage Theater in Washington D.C., The Ft. Belvoir Eagle Newspaper in Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, Clear Channel Communications in Rockville, Maryland and Gannett/USA Today in McLean, Virginia. Her many years of experience have prompted her to write, direct, and produce over 15 original productions for her church and community. Shannan’s mentors and role models are that of her family, church family, and fellow aspiring African American women in the media field such as Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey, who have worked at paving the way for minority storytellers within the entertainment industry. Shannan hopes one day to open up a production company for minorities, which will inspire, motivate, and empower them to follow their passions through the arts. Shannan’s favorite scripture is Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” She credits this verse for inspiring her to overcome all obstacles within her life and to work hard to succeed and excel at being a good role model for young women within her church and community.

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