How to Go From Disorganized to Efficient in College

For most students, college is a blur of classes, exams, friends and too much homework. Many feel just too overwhelmed to become and remain organized. But organizing your life doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, it’s actually a relief! Getting organized is the surest way to start working more effectively and efficiently in college.

First, make a routine or schedule and stick with it. This might be the most daunting task for time-challenged college students, but it works. By creating a routine, you are creating habits and habits, once learned, are hard to break. Your schedule can include reasonable bed times, rise times, set weekly study sessions, allotted socializing hours, library times and so on. If you get off track with your schedule, don’t worry. Just start again next week and really try to maintain the routine. It will take the pressure off of always having to cram so many things into a short period of time.

Next, prepare for tomorrow today! This may sound confusing, but it really isn’t. Just start making preparations for your day the night before. If you have a busy day on Tuesday filled with work, class and a set study session, begin preparing Monday evening. Lay out your clothes, gather your books and study materials, pack snacks and other work-related items. By getting things organized the night before, you can wake up the next day without having to rush and potentially forget something important.

Third, start using a planner. A planner, or write-on calendar, is a great organizational tool. It allows you to see what tasks, obligations and meetings you should prepare for daily, weekly or monthly, depending on the planner format. Also, consider color coding the information you write into the calendar. For instance, write test dates in red, group meetings in blue, study sessions in green, classes in orange and any assigned homework in purple. So in one quick glance, you can see where you need to be, with whom you’ll be meeting and what you’ll be doing on upcoming, specific dates.

Organization doesn’t have to be a headache for college students. With a little effort, some willpower and the use of a good planner, even you can get organized and start working more efficiently than ever.

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