Keeping your workspace clear of distractions like your phone or a TV is vital to staying focused during online classes.

Staying organized is one of the best ways to keep up your productivity and motivation during college. Students everywhere are having to find new ways to stay organized amid all of the new online classes and assignments.

Here are six ways for Gonzaga students to stay organized and motivated this semester:

Create a Schedule 

Scheduling out your days is one of the most helpful practices in staying organized.

Set time aside in your day for meals, workouts, walks and time with friends. Having a consistent structure to your weeks will keep you motivated and productive with your assignments and scheduling time to do the things you love will motivate you to finish your tasks and assignments faster. The Gonzaga Office of Academic Advising and Assistance said that planning out short times of focused study on a regular basis is a great way to get work done and consistency is a very important aspect of organization.

Zoom calls and online classes largely eliminate the structure of your day and it is important to create that structure in your week despite this. Schedule time in the morning to get up, get dressed and have breakfast before your Zoom classes to creating a great start to a great day.

Study in a new environment

One of the best ways to excel in your studies is to switch up the environment you study in.

It can be draining to sit in the same place for a long period of time and our Zoom classes give us the opportunity to do just that. Remember to change up your environment as much as you can during the day.

Visit different coffee shops new campus and work on homework there, or take advantage of the beautiful weather and find a place to study outside on campus. Form a study group and study with friends in order to keep yourself and each other motivated. You can even find ways to change up your environment if you are home this semester by studying outside or in a different room.

Keep a planner

Planners and to-do lists are a great way avoid being overwhelmed with all that we have on our plates as college students. You can use a physical planner, an online calendar or an app to keep track of all your assignments, deadlines and class methods for each day. To-do lists and planners are great ways to stay organized and will keep you motivated to complete your assignments in order to cross them off your list.

When you are working on assignments and tasks, try to do one thing at a time and start with what is most important and stressful to create a sense of accomplishment and relief when you finish that task. Getting organized for the day the night prior is helpful, allowing you to start the day organized as soon as you are out of bed. 

Get rid of distractions

Distractions are one of the main ways that we get unorganized in school and life. Try to keep your workspace clean, organized and free from clutter and other distractions.

Set aside a space that is just for studying and don’t study on your bed or near your TV. Try turning off notifications on your laptop especially during Zoom calls and keep your phone on the other side of the room or in your backpack. Clearing your space and your head of distractions is one of the best ways to complete good focused studying and will cause you to get your work done faster so that you can spend more time doing fun and relaxing activities later. 

Take breaks

Taking breaks is a very helpful habit in doing well in academics.

“Your brain is a muscle and it needs to rest. Sitting in front of a screen all day can be exhausting. Give yourself time to recharge, so that when you are ready to work you are better able to focus and retain what you have learned,” said the Gonzaga Academic Advising and Assistance Office. 

Because many of our classes are online through Zoom, we spend a lot of time looking at our computer screens, and sitting in the same place for a long time causes us to feel more tired and less energized. Try to take breaks between classes as well as while you are working on assignments. This will keep you motivated, energized and focused on your studying.  

Be creative 

There is no one right way to get organized this semester and different ideas work for different people.

Experiment with new fun and creative ways to get organized and find what works best for you. Using planners, finding new apps, creating a calming and clean work space, color coding notes and assignments and setting daily goals for yourself are all ideas to stay organized in your online classes and your days this semester.

Being organized keeps you motivated, confident and helps you know what your goals and your responsibilities are. Staying organized will help relieve stress, increase productivity and give you more time to spend doing things that you love. 



Sarah Van Liew is a staff writer. Follow her on Twitter: @Sarah_Vanliew 

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