As a senior in my second semester of high school (two months and twenty-six days as of today!), I feel confident that I know how to stay organized and on track. On most days, that is. I’ve rounded up five tips here on what works for me!
Make to-do lists.
I use my Kate Spade agenda in the medium size with the Bella Bookshelf print every single day. When there’s five or ten minutes left in each class, I take it out and write down my assignments for that class. That serves as my to-do list for the night and I’ll write other small things to do as well, like write a post for the blog. I use the Any.do app on my Android, but I love using the web version as well! I organize my to-do list into three categories: School, Blog, and Personal. This app is great because you can assign a due date for each task, color code them, etc. You can share lists with other people and in the premium version you can collaborate with other people on lists, which could be handy for group projects.
Use the Pomodoro technique.
This has been a game-changer for me lately and I wish I would have discovered it sooner! This technique is a way of teaching yourself discipline when studying and encourages you to get things done more efficiently. This article on Lifehacker explains it more in detail, but it’s a simple tactic. You work for 25 minutes straight, then take a five minute break. After four sessions of working for 25 minutes, then you can take a longer break, usually between 15-30 minutes. I use the Tomato Timer to track my time. I used to have an app on my phone, but every time I went to start the next timer I’d get distracted by another notification, so this is a good alternative. I feel like this has increased my productivity by a ridiculous amount!
Live by your syllabus.
In the first week or so of school, most teachers will hand out a syllabus, or a list of due dates throughout the year. Some teachers do it for the quarter, or for the semester. When I get my syllabus, I write all my due dates for big projects, quizzes, and tests in my agenda. This helps me stay on top of studying in advance. It’d be helpful to write this out on a monthly desk calendar as well, but I currently use my calendar for scholarship due dates.
Teach the tricky topics.
If you’re having trouble with a certain topic, teach it to someone else! I usually ending up explaining the topic to my dogs because my family doesn’t want to listen about codominant and incomplete genetics, but hey, whatever works. Before our last final, my biology teacher had us split into groups and pick a topic that we were unsure on and then teach it to the class. Afterwards, I felt confident on the topic that we had taught. Teaching a topic requires you to know all the little details to answer questions and explain the general idea, so this one works for sure.
Talk to your teacher.
This one may seem obvious, but I can’t stress this enough! Sophomore year, I was in Honors Pre-Calculus and math has never been my strong suit. I would go in every morning before class and have my teacher work me through an example of a problem that I was having trouble with. Being able to break it down into smaller steps usually helps me understand. For math, I take an example and break it up into every tiny step and write the calculator commands or the written explanation of each step off to the side. This has helped me a ton. I’ve also found that if you go in and ask questions of your teacher, they usually tend to favor you more and will be friendlier in class.
If you’re in college, check out my updated post for more tips and tricks that you can also use for high school!
I hope you found these tips helpful! Thanks for reading!