Developing good organizational skills is a key ingredient for success in school and in life. Although some people by nature are more organized than others, anyone can put routines and systems in place to help "get it together." Here's a list of strategies that you can use to help get -- and keep your life under control.
- Use checklists.
Get into the habit of keeping a "to-do" list. Use checklists to post assignments, household chores, and reminders about what materials to bring to class. You should keep a diary, a small pad or a Homework Diary on your computer dedicated to listing homework assignments. Crossing completed items off the list will give you a sense of accomplishment.
- Organize homework assignments.
Before beginning a homework session, number your assignments in the order in which they should be done. Start with one that's not too long or difficult, but avoid saving the longest or hardest assignments for last.
- Designate a study space.
Study or do homework in the same place every night. This doesn't have to be a bedroom, but it should be a quiet place with few distractions. All school supplies and materials should be nearby. This organisation will encourage good study habits.
- Set a designated study time.
You should know that a certain time every day is reserved for studying and doing homework. The best time is usually not right after school -- most students benefit from time to unwind first. Even if you don't have homework, the reserved time should be used to review the day's lessons, read for pleasure, or work on an upcoming project.
- Keep organized notebooks.
Help keep track of papers by organizing them in a binder or notebook. This will help you review the material for each day's classes and to organize the material later to prepare for tests and quizzes. Use dividers to separate class notes, or color-code notebooks. Separate "to do" and "done" folders help organize worksheets, notices, and items to be signed by parents, as well as provide a central place to store completed assignments.
- Conduct a weekly clean-up.
Try to sort through bags and notebooks on a weekly basis. Old tests and papers should be organized and kept in a separate file at home for revision.
- Keep a master calendar.
Keep a large, wall-sized calendar for the household that lists the family's commitments, schedules for extracurricular activities, days off from school, and major events at home and at school. Note dates when there are exams or due dates for assignments. This will help family members keep track of each other's activities and avoid scheduling conflicts.
- Prepare for the day ahead.
Before you go to bed, plug in your notebook to charge for school, pack schoolwork and books. The next day's clothes should be laid out. This will cut down on morning confusion and allow you to prepare quickly for the day ahead. Don?t forget to make your bed in the morning J
Adapted from "Tips for Developing Organizational Skills in Children" by the Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities