When I first started at Herzing, organization was not one of my strong suits, but I soon realized that I would need to make some changes if I wanted to be successful. Now, I am preparing to graduate from the business management program!
Throughout my college journey, I have taken classes both online and on-campus. I put a lot of effort into improving my organizational skills, and I believe they played a big role in helping me get where I am today.
I know now that whether you’re an online or on-campus student, good organization is important to your success.
Here are my go-to tips for staying on top of all of your to-dos in work, school and life!
1. Get a planner
Before I started using a planner, I always thought that I had a good handle on when my assignments were due. This was DEFINITELY not the case. I would miss due dates or simply not give myself enough time to complete assignments. Having a planner helps me prioritize my week and structure my days so I can stay on top of my tasks. I also look ahead to what’s coming up in the next month so that I don’t forget to prepare for a big assignment or exam. I use a traditional planner, but there are also a variety of time management and organization apps you can use.
2. Actually read the syllabus
Take the extra couple minutes to read through your syllabus and look ahead to major deadlines, such as projects and exams. Some students find the syllabus overwhelming, but it’s important to know what will be expected of you in the coming weeks.
In your planner, write down the important deadlines for all of your classes. Once you have all of these dates laid out, you can start to plan ahead for major assignments. For example, if you have a research paper due at the end of the term, you might want to complete your first draft a few weeks ahead of time so that you can visit the Writing Center and review it with a tutor. Set your own intermediate deadlines and record these in your planner to ensure that you don’t procrastinate on important projects.
3. Use separate folders or binders for each class
When I was taking classes on campus, I always kept different folders and binders for each course to separate all of my materials and assignments. I have started applying this to my online classes as well. Some classes have more paperwork than others, but keeping everything separated ensures that you have all of your resources in one place. This is a tremendous help when it comes to studying and reviewing past assignments.
4. Get into a routine
Another great way to stay organized is to commit to a routine. Having a routine for homework assignments, studying, and your other daily tasks will help ensure that you are using your time wisely. There is nothing worse than taking an “easy day” and then realizing that you should have been using that time to complete coursework!
5. Ask for help
I know how easy it is to get overwhelmed and feel like you can’t get yourself back on track. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others to help you through these rough patches. Do you have a friend who can help you get organized? Can you ask your instructor to provide more deconstructed timelines for assignments and exams? There are a variety of academic resources available online and through Herzing that can help you catch up when you’re falling behind. You just have to know when to ask for help!
Take it from me, it is never too late to get organized! It is also never too late to ask for help and to admit that you need to rearrange some priorities in your life. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses can help you to figure out exactly where you need to focus your efforts, so you can start seeing results!