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Organizing Your Life to Succeed at School

The new school year is well underway. Most students begin each fall with good intentions to stay organized while completing their studies. The task often proves difficult, though, and many people are off track by the time midterms come around. But with only a small amount of time and effort, you can get (and stay) organized.

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Everything In Its Right Place: Organizing Your Space and Stuff

Create a 'home base'. Prepare an area in your living space with a desk and space where you can keep school materials and complete work. You may not even do much of your studying here, but having one central area where you can keep books, folders, papers and other items can help you locate them with confidence.

Establish an organization system. Form your own system of orderliness that ensures you have access to the books and supplies you need each day. For example, you might take time each evening to place all the items you'll need the following day in your backpack or briefcase. Being prepared in this way can help prevent you from leaving something behind in the morning.

Clean it up! It might sound like advice from your mom, but being organized requires a certain amount of tidiness. At least once a week, take time to clean out your desk and backpack or briefcase. If you commute to class by car, clean that out, too. Then tidy up your hard drive by organizing your current work and deleting or archiving old files.

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Is That Due Already? Managing Your Time

Update your calendar. A calendar is an important tool for staying on top of coursework and other responsibilities. Most cell phones, email programs and social networking sites have electronic calendars that can be updated with a couple of clicks. Taking a few seconds to record assignments, tests, extracurricular activities and other important events lets you keep information in one place and scan it at a glance.

Get into routines. Most of us perform certain tasks better at specific times of the day. Take advantage of this fact by settling into routines that allow you to maximize your energy and creativity. For example, if you usually do your best work in the morning, get going on that paper right away. Settling into whatever routine works best for you can allow you to make the most of your time.

Prioritize, prioritize. Each morning, look over your task list to determine what's most important for you to accomplish. Prioritize at the start of each week in the same way, mapping out the upcoming days based on task importance. Prioritizing well can actually help you to find more free time in your schedule to do the things you really want to do.

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