Back to school organizing tips

Back to school organizing tips

Back to school organizing tips for older students are imperative as young adults are expected to be more independent. As a Professional Organizer and Time Management Coach (and former educator) my definition of being independent requires that the older student practice 3 critical life skills:

  1. Time management
  2. Accountability
  3. Self care

Time management

student using smartphone

Time Management (freedigitalphotos.net tiniroma)

Back to school organizing tips for older students begin with time management. As students leave high school and plan to enter either a trade school, college or employment it is more critical than ever to know how to:

  • Plan, prepare – The older student needs to practice how to plan ahead and prepare independently. They can no longer rely upon their parents, teachers, employers or friends to tell them how to plan and prepare. In order to effectively plan students need a reliable time management system that they will use on a daily basis. This may include using a planner, setting alerts, and utilizing checklists. Here is a helpful article about time management tips.
  • Prioritize, re-prioritize – The older student will have to learn to balance competing interests such as school assignments versus social invitations. Time management requires establishing priorities while being flexible when new situations arise. The student may have to re-prioritize when confronted with an unexpected illness or family emergency. Successful prioritizing depends upon effective planning.
  • Meet deadlines – Deadlines are helpful for completing tasks and projects. Read my post about deadlines for more tips. The key to getting things done is to create deadlines for yourself.

Accountability

checklist

Using a checklist (freedigitalphotos.net DavidCastilloDominici)

Back to school organizing tips include accountability. Older students find themselves with much greater freedom. This may require coaching to support the following skills:

  • Self motivation – It’s difficult to teach self motivation. Like all of us, older students need to be able to tap into what they find rewarding and use those feelings to stay motivated. Do you find being able to cross through or check things off of a list motivating? What about recognition from others such as employers?
  • Follow through – Being accountable means that you will do what you say and what you are expected to do. This requires the ability to follow through with both simple and complex tasks and meet deadlines. If follow through is difficult it will be helpful to minimize interruptions and use the strategies that work such as taking breaks, working in a quiet environment, or having an accountability partner

Self care

fresh fruits

Nutrition, Self care (freedigitalphotos.net KEKO64)

Organizing tips for self care include:

  • Sleep hygiene – Older students need to enough sleep on a nightly basis. Learning to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day and night will allow his/her body to adjust to a healthy schedule and be well rested.
  • Adequate nutrition, hydration – Drinking plenty of water and eating nutritious meals and snacks will help maintain energy levels and weight control. We know that avoiding processed foods and sugary, caffeinated beverages are part of self care.
  • Stress management – Here’s a great article about stress management.