There is something about back-to-school season that just gets me buzzed - it’s like the approaching of a new year, but better because it comes with new stationery! I also love a good excuse to procrastinate my to-do by re-organising my life; surely colour coding my Google drive folders will make me more productive moving forward - right?
So, whether you’re going back-to-school this September as a student or a teacher OR you, like me, just love that back to school September buzz, here are thirteen of my top tips to help you get organised and feel prepared for the new academic year (or any period of time really)!
- Get out your bag/backpack and supplies from last semester and check through everything. See what's still good and what needs replacing.
- Make a list of what you will need (supplies, books, water bottle, etc.), and check what you might already have at home before you head out shopping so that you don’t end up with unnecessary extras.
- Think about your daily routines in advance; try and map out your week visually (or digitally) so that you know what is happening when and you don't overlap activities.
- Print out your new timetables and schedules; make multiple copies if possible. Stick one up in your study space, one in your journal/planner. It’s also a good idea to save a screenshot of your class schedule on your phone so you can quickly check it OR create a google calendar with all your classes, their locations, times etc. so it’s all saved in one easy to access place and can easily be updated when things change.
- Think about food, meals and snacks. Will you need to prep them in advance, do you need to bring extra snacks with you for busy days? Make sure you add these to your list of supplies and pop a repeating reminder in your Google calendar to get top ups every few weeks so you never run out of snacks!
- Try to regulate your sleep routines! These can often be off after the holiday period, so try getting back into the habit of going to bed early enough so that you are ready for your early starts.
- Prep your breakfast the night before. If you like a big breakfast, but don't have a lot of time in the mornings, get things ready before you go to bed so that you can whip up something tasty quickly the next day or grab something pre-prepared to go from the fridge on your way out the door.
- Also prep your bag and lunch! The more things you prepare and organise before bed the evening ahead, the longer you can stay in bed in the morning. Win, win!
- Check train, metro and bus timetables; maybe they have changed or maybe you're taking a new route, so get familiar with the times and schedules beforehand. If you drive, plan out your route using google maps in advance; top tip: add the time of your trip to the route plan to see predictions about how busy traffic might be around that time, this way you’ll know if you need to add some extra time to your trip to account for this.
- Share your routines with those you live with; whether it's your family or housemates, it's good to know who is coming and going from the house and when. It can also be a fun (and helpful idea) to set up a shared calendar or whiteboard in a shared space to visually see each other's schedules, appointments and events.
- Plan to use your downtime wisely; gaps in your timetable/schedule are great for fitting in extra study or planning sessions. You could also use your downtime for physical activity to help with a balanced routine, or even just to keep on top of household tasks so they don't build up to the weekend.
- Write down your goals for the new academic year or semester, the things you'd like to achieve and are most looking forward to and stick them somewhere that you will see them daily or when you need a little motivational lift.
- Get all your devices ready; clean up your desktop, documents & harddrives, set up new folders for your different classes or subjects and don’t forget to clear out your email inbox too. Make sure to protect your devices by adding a feel-good case or cover like the ones from my CASETiFY collection!
Remember to take lots of deep breaths; life can be unpredictable and full of challenges but if you’re trying your best, then you’re already doing enough!