How I'm Staying Organized This Semester

               Well, hello there, beautiful people! By now, I hope that you guys have all gotten into the swing of things for th...

               Well, hello there, beautiful people! By now, I hope that you guys have all gotten into the swing of things for the remainder of the school year. I hope the new semester has been treating you all well. So far, I've been enjoying my Spring semester and I think I owe that to some of the changes I've made recently. Last semester was great, but I'm determined to make this one even better by being more productive and staying on top of things. With that being said, here is how I'm staying organized this semester: 

Having a Morning/Nighttime Routine 
Last year (and every year before that, actually), I wasn't too concerned about how much sleep I got at night, or what time I woke up in the morning. I would set my alarm to go off at a certain time, hit "snooze" for nearly an hour, and then make sure I was out of bed in just enough time to get ready and leave for class. I'm proud to say that that's no longer the case. So far this semester, I have successfully been waking up two hours before it's time for me to leave for class. This gives me enough time to wash my face, do my hair and makeup, eat breakfast, drink some coffee, watch the news, check my emails, read some blogs, etc. It's also great having that extra time in the morning to double check my backpack to make sure I have everything. I can't tell you how many times I rushed out of my room to go to class only to get there and realize that I forgot my keys or my textbook or my phone. Waking up earlier was kind of a struggle at first because I was so used to hitting "snooze", but now I love the extra time I have in the mornings. 
Similarly, I've created a nighttime routine, which allows me to do all the things at night that I would normally be rushing to do in the morning. For example, showering, picking out my outfit, and packing my backpack are all things that I used to do in the morning that I now do every night before bed. It saves me a ton of time (and stress) in the morning!

Having a Clean Work Space

It's so true that having a clean and organized work area helps you keep a clean and organized mind, at least that's true for me. If it's been a really long day, it's nice to come home and have a clutter-free place to get work done. This is my current work area; it's the desk that my dorm room came with. Keeping my work space neat and tidy gives me enough space to be as productive as I need to be, despite having my TV and my bulky printer on my desk. 

Keeping a Blogging Schedule
I realized very quickly that blogging while in college can be a little stressful at times, especially if you're not organized. While I was at home for Winter Break, it was easy to write up multiple blog posts throughout the week because I didn't have much to do while I was at home. Being at school, however, is an entirely different story. With classes, a social life, and other commitments, sometimes, blogging will be the the last thing on my mind, so I try to keep a schedule to organize my blog posts. I know that I put out one post every week, so I try to make sure that I always have at least two weeks of blog posts already typed up and ready to publish ahead of time. I also try to make sure that I schedule my posts to share on social media ahead of time, and I use Hootsuite to get that done. 

Minimizing the Amount of Materials I Bring to Class

When I first started college, I would always forget to bring something to class. Then, I started bringing too much stuff to class that I didn't need. For example, I used to have two planners, one for my school work and the other for clubs and organizations that I planned on joining. I have no idea why I thought this was a good idea because I could never consistently use both of them. I'd also have one individual notebook and folder for every class and sometimes, I'd bring the wrong notebook or forget a folder. It was a mess. Now, I have one planner for everything. I organize it by keeping it color coded and by using sticky notes for my "To-Do" lists. I also started buying 5-subject notebooks so that I wouldn't have to worry about carrying so much stuff to class. 

Using Productivity Apps
Productivity apps have been a life saver for me and I'm starting to get obsessed with them. Sometimes, when I'm bored, I'll open the Google Play Store on my phone and browse the Productivity Apps to see if there's anything new or something that I haven't tried yet. Some of the apps I use include: 
  • Evernote - Any avid list-maker will tell you how amazing Evernote is. I save all of my personal lists as well as specific articles in Evernote. It's also great because the app syncs up with all of my devices so I have my lists with me everywhere. 
  • Google Calendar - Any event I need to attend or appointment I need to go to is saved in this app and it works way better than the stock Calendar app that comes on my phone. 
  • Blackboard - If you're in college, then you probably know what Blackboard is. It's the system that a lot of college professors use to post content online for their students. It's where you'll usually find the syllabus, class readings, announcements, and your grades for each class, among other things. The beauty of having the app on my phone is that I can access all of this information wherever I am, 
  • Google Drive - Unless I'm printing out something very specific, I often forget to put things on my USB drive, so I back everything up on Google Drive. It's a life saver! There have been so many times where I needed to print out a paper before class and forget to save it to my USB drive. Being able to access my documents from virtually anywhere is something I definitely take advantage of. 

Keeping a White Board

I update my white board every night, so that I have a clear view of what my schedule looks like for the next day. This is my schedule for today, which is pretty heavy, class-wise. I have two classes in the morning that get out at 12 PM (11:50), and then I have a three hour Acting class later on in the afternoon. I also keep a reminder of things I need to do that day, which in this case, is to schedule a doctor's appointment. I keep this on the outside of my door, so that my suite mate or anyone else who comes into our suite can generally know where I am if I'm not in my dorm. 

Keeping Up with the Class Syllabus
I'm one of those students who thoroughly reads and then prints out the syllabus before classes start. I like to stay on top of assignments so that I can get some of them done and out of the way. It's a great feeling to have an online quiz or a paper due by a certain date and knowing that you've already done it and no longer need to stress about it. 

               Those are just a few things that I do to stay organized throughout the semester, and these things have all been working great for me. I hope that you guys can take some of these tips and use them as well. Comment down below and let me know what all you guys are doing to stay organized and productive this semester!

With love from your girl,

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