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5 Ways for Busy Students to Stay on Top of Work

Spring semester means new beginnings. The snow is starting to melt, the belligerent squirrels are hunting for the acorns they hid, and students are finding their way to new classes and new schedules. Adjusting to a new timeline is never easy, but as an organizational tutor, I found there are a few ways to relieve the burden of rediscovering how to maneuver around a new agenda. 

Plan Out Your Time

Do you find yourself intending to do work, and yet somehow the week passes and all of a sudden you’re up against the deadline? One solution to the “I’ll get to it later” conundrum is to plan out exactly when to get your work done. The date and time. And stick to it. In planning it out, you hold yourself more accountable and you will be less likely to push it off.

Work Ahead

If you have some extra time, rather than play Wordle or scroll through your TikTok feed, take the opportunity to get a little bit of extra work done, whatever that may be. Read an article that’s not due until the next class, or read ahead in your textbook; do what you would normally put off. 

Know Thyself

Do you work better in the morning? At night? Do you prefer doing all your work at once? Or splitting it up? These are questions that will assist you in being more efficient and productive while you do your work. If you know you work best in the morning, try to go to bed a little earlier at night. If you like to get everything done at once, block out some time in your day and grind it out. If you like a quiet, studious space, where you won’t be bothered, sit in the library. If you like a more casual space with background noise, head to the Powerhouse. Knowing how you function will help you set yourself up to do better work and be less distracted. 

Use a Planner

A planner doesn’t have to be a traditional agenda book with a generic design. A planner is just a way to organize your thoughts and keep track of your work. A planner that you write in is a classic way to organize your work, and you can choose which one you think will work best with your needs. You can also grab an empty notebook and create your own. Google Calendar is one way to do this. You can put in your classes, when assignments are due, or schedule in time to do your work. This is a good organizational tool because you can access it both on your computer as well as on your phone. You can also set it up to get notifications on your phone to help keep on track with deadlines.

Be Kind To Yourself

School is stressful, and the pressure of trying to get every assignment for every class done well and on time can mount. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of work, especially if you have a more intense course load, or if you are an athlete in season. Sometimes it feels impossible to get everything done, and it’s okay to take a step back and take time for yourself. Sometimes you have to BS that one assignment, or ask your professor for an extension. Letting work and stress snowball will not help; check in with your mental health and make sure you are taking care of yourself first. 

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