I have decided to take on a lot of responsibility my senior year. I’m in Band Council, Marching Band, NHS and five AP classes, and I love the challenge. But it can be hard to manage all of this. So how do I do it? Here are seven ways you can organize your time better with some time saving study habits.
Get a planner and stick to it.
This may sound simple, but the best way to get things done is to make it satisfying to complete them. I write down all the things I need to work on everyday and I leave a space next to them to check it off. It is so bothersome when a box is not checked, so you’ll be compelled to get it done.
Get to work as soon as you get home.
If you open your phone, it will destroy your productive mood. So come home, eat a snack to take a break, and begin to work on simple tasks. I find doing simple tasks first is motivating because you feel accomplished when you can check off ⅗ boxes within an hour.
Leave all the necessary tabs open before you leave school.
I hate a messy desktop. And I hate having dozens of tabs open at a time. But if you leave them all open, the tabs serve as a reminder of every specific thing you need to get done. And getting down to the last few tabs is what keeps me going when I pull late nights.
Read the assigned book.
I don’t care if its Shakespeare or the Great Gatsby. Read the assigned works. I know you don’t want to. I get it. I do. But reading a summary is the fastest way to fail. If you find it hard to stay focused while reading your book, go to LibriVox and search for the audiobook. This website has most classics, and reading along to the audiobook keeps me focused and productive. (Psst… if you’re short on time, increase the playback speed to 1.5)
Create goals or incentives.
Tell yourself that once you count down from 3, you will start your work. And don’t stop working until you reach a certain point. Then you can take five minute break, or go to sleep, etc. Creating your own motivation is key to success.
Get the AP review books now.
These books help AP students review for their specific subject tests. They include practice tests, summaries of content, flashcards, online platforms and many other methods to help prepare for the test. The sooner you start practicing the format and the questions, the better you will do on the test. My personal favorite review series is the Five Steps to A Five (which you can get on Amazon or on the website) These books will give you quizzes, diagnostic tests, practice test, and a study timeline. These books will save your life. If you can afford these though, check out Khan Academy. They have free review modules for many classes.
Take good notes.
This may sound basic, but it is the most important step. Once you get into higher level courses, teachers won’t hold your hand, you’ll be aloud to have your phone out or to sleep. But you won’t like the results if you do. When a teacher is doing notes, or labs, or and other form of instruction, but the phone up, and take out your notebook. Even if you think you already know the material. YOU NEED TO WRITE IT DOWN.
These are my tricks that I use to stay afloat this senior year. You might need to modify them to fit your style. But regardless, you will find some of these tricks helpful. But don’t forget to have fun too. You’re only in high school once!