Get Organized

Get Organized

As a high school student it can be hard to stay organized, especially if you’re involved in many activities. School, extracurricular activities, sports, work, homework, family time and spending time with your friends are just a few things that students can easily get overwhelmed with. Knowing how to organize your life/activities can help limit your stress. Here are some useful tips to staying organized:

Organize your surroundings:

1.      Organize your space

a) Use binders/folders to organize papers

b) Label boxes to know where things are

c) Keep surfaces clear

d) Keep your room/desk clean

e) Use things and then put them back

f) Create a system that doesn’t allow you to lose things

2.      After organizing your space, make yourself do a few small chores each day to help you stay organized:

a) Each paper should be handled only once

I. Read and file

II. Give it to someone else to deal with

III. Schedule events listed on the paper and throw away

IV. Throw away or file for reference

b) Take care of every piece of paper you come across the first time you read it

c) Don’t make piles of things to do later

Organize your activities:

1.      Write everything down:

a) Carry a notebook and pen with you at all times

b) Write down ideas/appointments, so you don’t have to remember them

2.      Post-it Notes – use post-it notes to remind yourself of things to do each day:

a) Before you go to bed make a list of things you need to do the next day

b) Write down everything you need to remember

c) Look at your list of things to do/remember before going to school

d) Make sure you have everything you need for the day

3.      Make to-do lists:

a) Create different lists for each day, week, month and year

b) Organize the tasks on each list by importance (most important to least important)

c) If a task on one of the lists is a large project, create a separate list that outlines the steps needed to complete the task

d) Time your tasks and allow yourself only so much time to complete each task

e) Follow through and complete the tasks on your lists

f) Don’t procrastinate

g) Complete the hardest tasks first and divide them into manageable tasks

4.      Combine similar activities when doing something. For example, do all your homework at once and then work on extracurricular projects.

5.      Create a chart or calendar/planner to keep up with your schedule. Highlight the important things or color code your tasks by importance.

6.      Remember unexpected activities and events may come up throughout the week, so don’t get attached to your schedule and be flexible.

7.      Set time limits to phone calls/texting, Facebook, email, etc.

8.      When waiting for something, use that time to catch up on reading/planning or do other tasks that you need to complete.

9.      Delegate:

a) Have others do tasks you don’t have time for

b) If you’re in a club and something needs to be done that you don’t have time for, have a fellow member do it

c) Work with others to split up the workload

10.  Make decisions and don’t leave things to decide later

11.  Schedule free time for yourself

12.  Eat healthy, exercise and get at least eight and a half hours of sleep a night


  • Listen to music (classical, tribal drums, or mellow music) when doing tasks
  • Don’t dwell on your thoughts, let them come and go
  • If you can’t motivate yourself, work for 15 minutes and then take a five-minute break before working again
  • Separate tasks into categories (school, extracurricular tasks, work, etc.)
  • Keep your lists in one place
  • Do tasks instead of thinking about them
  • Don’t try to multi-task too much

As a high school student it can be hard to remember everything you need to do, as well as getting everything done on time. In order to live with less stress and manage your time better, the steps and tips listed above should help.