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Get Organized

Get Organized

The small effort it takes to get organized can lead to a huge payoff​—more time, less stress, and better grades.

IMAGINE that you walk into a store to buy a single item, but all the merchandise is randomly scattered about with no sense of order. How long will it take you to find what you are looking for? Would you not find it easier if the items were neatly arranged and the aisles were clearly labeled? You can take a similar approach to your schooling. How?

Establish a schedule.

“One time I completely forgot about my homework​—and neglected my chores—​because I was at a friend’s house for the entire weekend,” says 18-year-old Zachary, from the United States. “On Monday, I had to beg my teachers to let me turn in my work late. Now I make to-do lists, which help me to remember what I need to get done.”

Writing things down also helped Celestine, a young woman in Papua New Guinea. Reflecting on her school days, she says: “I kept a schedule of all my activities, including homework, exams, and social events. Doing this helped me to set priorities and meet my deadlines.”

Tip: Write your to-do list in a small notebook, or store it on your cell phone or other electronic device.

Do not procrastinate.

It is easy to say, “I’ll do it later.” It is better to do things as soon as possible​—especially your homework.

Tip: Make it a point to do your homework as soon as you get home, before turning on the TV or engaging in any other recreation.

Organize your gear.

Have you ever arrived at class only to discover that you forgot your notepad, pen, or books? You can avoid the hassle! How? “I always packed my schoolbag in advance,” says Aung Myo Myat, a young man in Myanmar.

Tip: Keep your schoolbag or backpack neat and orderly so that you can find things more easily.

The bottom line: Getting organized will save you the stress of forgetting things, running late, and never seeming to have enough time for other priorities.

Why not get started? Think about one area in which you need to get organized. Then, with a parent or a friend, brainstorm some ways that you can improve.