From Overwhelmed to Organized: 8 Tips for Catching up on School Work

School doesn’t have to leave you overwhelmed. Knowing these tips can make sure you get back on track.

From Overwhelmed to Organized: 8 Tips for Catching up on School Work (Getty Images)

As Spring brings busier schedules for students, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by a growing to-do list. Among work, loved ones, and attending classes, the end of the school year can seem so close yet so far! 

However, with these eight practical tips, you can spring into action and be able to relax again:

Make a Plan

If you have multiple priorities, you will want to start charting out all of your tasks. Start by writing down a list of everything you need to catch up on. This list will give you a sense of direction and help you remember tasks you may have overlooked.

From this master list, you can create mini to-do lists for the day/week. Think of it as your warm-up task before you get any work done. Making a list is a great way to stay motivated as well. Checking off items as you complete them can help you feel accomplished and inspire you to keep the ball rolling.

Break the Tasks Down

Breaking large tasks into bite-sized pieces is a technique crucial in every project. For example, if your goal is to write an essay by the end of the week, you might feel overwhelmed and defeated. With everything else going on in your life, how could you possibly find the time to finish an essay?

What you need is to break the essay down into manageable chunks. You may want to start with a smaller goal—finishing an outline by noon. The point of this exercise is to go one step at a time and make steady progress toward a bigger goal. Completing a complex task can be less intimidating by starting with an easy step that doesn’t require much effort.

Try Time Blocking

Time blocking can be a helpful technique if you are struggling with distractions throughout the day or if you’re juggling multiple different responsibilities. It starts with organizing your day into blocks of time and dedicating each block to a single task or responsibility. 

For example, you could say, “From 2 pm to 4 pm, I will use that time to work on my essay.” Making intentional time for a specific task in your schedule helps you regain control of your day and prevents you from getting caught up in less important activities. 

Prioritize Quantity Over Quality

One of the most common reasons why students fall behind academically is that they have perfectionistic tendencies. However, when you’ve got a long laundry list of tasks to finish, you won’t be able to give your 100% to every little thing. Give each task your best and if that means it’s just “okay,” that is good enough!

Seek Support

If you’re feeling stressed, there are many different coping mechanisms and resources you can access. Ask your teacher for an extension on an assignment or schedule a meeting with them to discuss action plans. Maintaining connections with friends and family or engaging in hobbies that bring joy can positively contribute to your mental health. 

Address Sleep Habits

It is proven that high-quality sleep (about 7 to 9 hours for the average person) can significantly improve task performance, learning, and memory. Sleep and anxiety are also often interrelated. Better sleep quality and a consistent night routine appear to lessen feelings of anxiety. Set a hard boundary for when you want to stop working so you can properly wind down for a good night’s sleep.

Don’t Neglect Your Present Tasks

Finally, the last and most crucial tip to catching up on work is to give proper time to your present tasks. Focusing on past assignments will keep you in a constant cycle as new assignments become missed assignments. Working on both old and new tasks simultaneously will ensure that you stay caught up.

Look Ahead

The school year is coming to an end, and it might be motivating to keep that in the back of your mind as you work. You can also plan for your future classes to keep yourself excited about school. 

By implementing these strategies, you can navigate the rest of the spring semester with confidence. As the school year barrels towards its end, now is a great time to reflect on the journey so far, the accomplishments achieved, and the goals yet to be met. 

Knives Nguyen, (they/he/she) is a journalist from the Bay Area who covers entertainment and culture. You can connect with them on LinkedIn: @knivesnguyen.

Edited by Nykeya Woods

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