Make no mistake, the patterns that are set in the first 4-6 weeks of school set the tone for the entire school year. If students hit a wall 6 weeks in, and red flags start popping up, chances are they’ll be afflicted with S.U.S.S. for the rest of the year (Swimming Up Stream Syndrome. Not fun).
Therefore, it’s critical to hit the ground running and be prepared on day 1.
(Take what you like and leave the rest)
1. Print 4 copies of the school’s YEARLONG calendar. Tape 1 in the planner, post one in your study space, one in the desk or locker at school and one on the fridge or other convenient reference spot. Refer to it often.
2. Enter ALL relevant info for the entire school year into your planner BEFORE day 1. This includes job hours, extra curriculars, birthdays, etc.. Box out every single day off with a highlighter. (If you are a college student, print ALL syllabi BEFORE day 1 and enter every single relevant detail into your planner. All tests, projects, assignments, etc.. BEFORE day 1.)
3. Print 3 copies of your SCHEDULE. Put one in your planer, post one where you do homework, and 1 in your desk or locker.
4. Clearly label EVERYTHING possible with your name- on a sticker or with a sharpie.
5. Get a MONTHLY planner. Not weekly. Create a simple shorthand coding system and use it.
6. COLOR CODE folders and composition notebooks, 1 color per class.
7. Make a CATCHALL folder to centralize important stuff, homework to do and homework to turn in.
8. Create a SACRED STUDY SPACE. Just as it sounds, this is a space that you have intentionally designed to be the ultimate space to focus and be productive. The more focused your study time is, the more free time you have.
And feel free to leave a comment below with any great ideas you might have. It gives all of us ideas we can adapt to our situations!