College is one of the most hectic phases in a young adult’s life. On top of your academics, you will be juggling your time for your family, friends, college org, yourself, and to some, part-time work or internship. To keep up with everything that is going on in your life, it’s never too early for you to learn how to manage your priorities. Considering that college is the transition period towards adulthood, you might want to start learning how to stay organized in college. This way, you can sharpen your organizational skills early and be a more productive individual once you start working. Become a more productive student by following these seven tips on how to stay organized and productive while in college.
Clean and Declutter Your Desk
Your desk is basically your work station. This is where you get things done, including your assignments, projects, research papers, essays, and more. One of the best study hacks that you can ever do is to keep your desk clean and organized. It’s understandable that it will get messy every now and then, especially if you’re busy with all of the homework and studying that you’re trying to finish. Organizing your desk is the first thing you will need to do if you want to feel more comfortable about your study space and to stay organized in college.
Set a Time to Organize Your Dorm Weekly
Apart from your desk, your dorm can also become either a source of frustration or inspiration. Whether you like it or not, a clean room is a part of staying organized in college. If you want to improve your productivity, see to it that everything in your room is in its proper place. Don’t wait for the time when you badly need something, but could not find it because of the clutter. A dirty room can also become a reason for you to not stay in your own room.
Organize your things and put away everything that you don’t need. If you need to reorder your whole room to make the most of its every corner, then go for it. If you have piles of books or papers that you don’t need, you might want to sort through them and check which ones you can get rid of either by selling, recycling or donating them.
Maintain a File Organization System
Among the many college studying hacks that most students disregard is file organization. Once you get to college, you should expect a lot of paperwork or documents. Whether you or your school decides to go paperless, having a file organization system is still important. You will want to have easy access to all of your notes, textbooks and other references. With piles of documents to use, it’s easy to lose track of where you put what. So to avoid stressing yourself out due to missing notes, it’s better that you have a file organizer on your desk or drawer to keep your printed documents in.
For your books, it’s better to have a bookcase for them. For your soft copy documents, you might want to consider cloud storage. In fact, it’s also a good idea to create a digital copy for all of your paper documents, especially if they will come in very handy for the rest of your college years. This way, you won’t have to keep all of your papers and build up a clutter in your room.
Use Your Time Wisely
Every minute of your day is important. Your time is one of the most important resources, so it only makes sense that you manage it well. To be more productive and to stay organized in college, you will need to be more mindful of where each part of your day goes. Your academics will definitely eat up most of your time. You might also want to spare some time to socialize with friends, classmates and college clubmates. And if you are a fitness enthusiast, you might want to squeeze in some time to exercise.
You are free to choose how you spend your time, but if you want to accomplish more and stay productive, you have to be wiser on how much time you spend on each of your activities. To help you have a visual of how you are spending your time, you might want to use a number of productivity apps for college students that will help you stay focused, avoid distractions and keep track of your tasks easily.
Take advantage of college productivity tools
Today’s technology has made it easy for individuals to have access to a variety of productivity tools for free. You can now find a variety of apps that can help you get more things done and stay organized in college. Here are some college productivity apps that you might want to check out.
Time and project management
Calendars and planners
By combining these productivity apps with your discipline and motivation to do better, you can definitely accomplish more and become a more productive college student.
Organize Your Daily and Weekly Activities
One of the most effective ways to stay organized in college is by plotting all of your activities in your preferred college productivity or project management tool. With so many things to do while in college, the best way for you to make the most of your time daily is by organizing all of your activities. Plan your day or week ahead and do your best to stick to the time you have allotted for each of your activities. A good way to manage your to-do list is to use a visual project management tool such as a Kanban board.
Many businesses and professionals use the Kanban organization system to monitor the tasks within their team and to make sure that all projects are accomplished on time. College students can also take advantage of the Kanban for personal productivity. Simply create a kanban board where you can plot out all of your activities daily, including your classes, review sessions, visits to the library or gym, as well as your meetings with your friends or college clubs.
To level up your productivity, you can also combine your college Kanban board with the Pomodoro technique and get more things done without burning yourself out. An organized daily schedule can do wonders for you and your productivity. With a Kanban board to help you keep track of your daily tasks, along with your favorite calendar app, you can improve how you use your time and get more things done in a shorter amount of time.
Stay Healthy and Active
Aside from organizing your dorm, desk and your daily schedule, you should also do your best to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Keeping your body healthy should be one of your top priorities. If you catch a cold or even a slight fever can affect your productivity and hinder your efforts on trying to stay organized in college. A healthy mind and body is what it takes to successfully maintain an organized life as a college student. To help you stay healthy and active, here are four things that you should include in your health habits.
Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation tends to be very unavoidable during college. But the key to maintaining a healthy body is by giving yourself the time to recover from all-nighters. As much as possible, a college student should get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep as often as possible.
Eat a balanced meal. Fast food and instant meals are some of the most convenient ways for a college student to grab a meal. During college, with so many things to keep up with, you tend to disregard the amount of nutrition that you get from the food that you eat. But for your brain and body to function well, a regular, healthy and balanced meal is essential.
Exercise regularly. Apart from getting enough sleep and eating a healthy meal regularly, you should also stay active. If you are too busy, there are many ways for you to keep up with your daily schedule while still maintaining an active lifestyle. If you can’t squeeze in some time to visit the gym, maybe you can get a bike and use it as your transportation to school. Or you can buy some weights and setup up a mini gym in your room. Exercising for at least 30 to 50 minutes daily can do a lot in perking you up for a busy day in school and boosting your productivity.
Say no to unhealthy habits. Smoking, alcohol and drugs are the worst vices to adopt. The temptation is strong, especially with almost half of college students having tried smoking or doing drugs. But if you don’t want to damage your health and adopt an unhealthy vice that you’ll find difficult to quit, it’s better to not start one at all. Alcohol and drugs can also affect your mental health, which will definitely affect your performance as a college student.
Adopting a more productive mindset and to help you stay organized in college will always be a challenge. But with dedication and perseverance, you will soon reap the benefits of becoming an organized individual. And if you are looking for a visual project management tool, such as a Kanban system for personal productivity, check out Kanban Zone. Make it your primary task organization tool and experience the convenience of monitoring all your college tasks in one location.
Christine Joy Leal is an experienced freelance writer and content manager, a happy wife and a mother to two daughters, two dogs and two cats. She loves keeping things in order and enjoys using the Kanban and Agile methodologies to manage all her writing projects, daily tasks, and other personal matters that require efficient organization. Apart from managing her busy content writing career, she also enjoys board and online games, movies, TV shows, and crocheting. She also maintains a blog about her work as a freelance content writer.