Starting the new year feeling fresh and organised will stand you in good stead for the term to come. These tips will help you feel prepared and ready to take on upcoming assignments and exams with confidence.
1. Set up a study routine
Never underestimate the value of a routine, especially when it comes to school work and study time. A good way to do it is to spend the first 30 minutes to an hour after you arrive home from school doing something you enjoy – which might be playing music, sport, video games, the gym or TV. Then spend an hour or two on homework before dinner. Be flexible with what subjects you study when. If you have a big maths exam coming up, spend the entire evening on maths and work on the other subjects tomorrow.
Practice your routine every day (even if you don't have much on - use the time to get ahead) and your workload will feel manageable.
2. Set positive, realistic goals for the term
Setting yourself goals and dedicating yourself to achieving them will help you stay motivated and help you achieve the results you want this. And the best time to set them is when you’re feeling refreshed and re-energised at the start of the term.
Set realistic goals that state exactly what you want to achieve. Be specific and acknowledge the effort required to achieve that goal. For example, you might say your goal is to achieve better marks in English this term, and the way you're going to achieve this goal is by increasing your study in English and seek help from a teacher or tutor once a week.
Write your goals down and stick them above your desk, or somewhere you will see every day, as a reminder of what you’re aiming for.
3. Find a good study space
Create a designated area for your study where you can focus and limit distractions. Maybe you prefer the dining room table, or perhaps it’s a desk in your room - choose a place you feel comfortable, alert and focused.
Make sure your study space is clean and tidy at the start of the term, as it will be easier to keep it that way in the future. Have whatever you may need during homework time at your study space, so you don’t need to interrupt your study to get them - coloured highlighters, pens, pencils, erasers, sticky notes, calculators etc.
Computers are great for a lot of things during study time (including online tutoring, of course!), but can also be a major distraction (it's very easy to lose hours scrolling Facebook and Instagram). Use your computer when you need it, but be firm with yourself when you're done. Turn it off, or move somewhere where you won't be tempted to have 'another quick look'.
4. Use school planners and calendars
One of the most important things to do to get organised is manage your time wisely. If you haven’t got one already, get a yearly planner and fill it out with the important dates for the year. As assignments and exam dates come in, keep your planner updated. This will give you a good visual of what you have coming up and what you need to work around.
Once your planner is updated, make sure it is somewhere you will never fail to see it - on the fridge, on the wall above your desk or near the front door for constant reinforcement.