SummarySummer is a great time to set goals be organized for the school year ahead. Seton alumna, Anna Eileen, shares the keys to make this academic year a success!
The New Year is a big deal in American culture.
Lots of people every December spend a lot of time crafting careful resolutions and goals that they hope to accomplish in the following year.
However, since students’ lives are structured around the nine-month academic year, it seems odd for us to set new goals and change old habits in the middle of Christmas break. I find that my memories tend to be categorized by school year, for that is when my school schedule changes, my work changes, and now my residence changes.
Therefore, I find it helpful to make resolutions, both academic and otherwise, beginning each school year, instead of each calendar year.
In this article, I will share some tips on some “resolutions” I recommend to make this school year your most focused, productive, and organized yet.
1. Maintain a clean and organized desk.
Setting up, personalizing, and taking pride in a work space is really important. I find that if my desk is a disaster, I do one of two things: either work in the midst of all my clutter and feel distracted or work somewhere else, like my bed or the floor, and feel unmotivated. On the other hand, if I take time to set up and maintain a clean, organized desk, it adds a little motivation boost to my study sessions.
For those who share a room and do not have their own desks, I highly recommend setting up a “study station” in your room, which could be as simple as a spot on the carpet with a pillow for your books and laptop. I have found that it is much easier to get distracted without a designated work spot.
2. Devise a plan for internet usage.
Almost every single homeschooler I have ever talked to knows the internet struggle all too well. It’s so easy to get distracted on the internet with no teacher looming over your shoulder threatening to confiscate your device.
One thing I have found helpful is clearly setting boundaries for what times I am allowed on the internet. I admit that I don’t really keep track of the exact amounts of time I can spend online, but I like to set timers for certain amounts of no-internet-allowed work time. I also usually have my phone on “do not disturb” mode so I won’t be distracted by notifications and texts.
Another strategy I like to use is to take my study breaks offline. For example, if I study for two hours, I will get up and make some tea, fold the laundry, make my bed, etc. I notice that if my “breaks” consist of checking social media, then I don’t feel refreshed and ready to get back to work; on the contrary, I have just remained sitting in the same spot still absorbing information, even though it’s of a different type.
3. Stay on top of the lesson plans (but not too much).
I highly recommend utilizing your Seton planner and breaking your work into one week chunks. This means writing down all of your assignments for the upcoming week, maybe on Friday afternoon or Sunday night, in one session and looking at the week as a whole.
I am the type of person who really needs to focus intensely on one thing, so in high school I would often do two days worth of half my subjects (or something like that). Others may like to change it up frequently and do a little of each subject each day. Knowing what your workload looks like ahead of time gives you the freedom to do it either way and prevents stressful and unpleasant surprises.
On the other hand, planning too much can be overwhelming. Trying to write down a month’s worth of work causes unnecessary stress. For example, knowing that you are supposed to be on chapter twenty of A Tale of Two Cities three weeks from now doesn’t really help you focus on the work you have today.
Seton high schoolers, what time management or organization strategies work for you? Do you have any “resolutions” for this school year?