4 Tips for Staying Focused and Organized as Junior Year Gets Busy

The following is a guest post written by Anna Carapellotti of Admissionado, a premier college admissions consulting company focused on helping students get into their dream schools.

With winter break a little under a month away, we’re sure all of you are looking forward to some much-deserved relaxation. But in the meantime, you’re probably feeling the pressure of pending exams and final papers, as well as the need to keep thinking about college applications. To help you put forth your best effort, we’ve compiled a list of things to help you stay focused and organized during the upcoming month…and then again in the new year!  

1. Minimize distractions

First things first, put your smartphone away and close Facebook on your computer. By minimizing the distractions posed by social media while studying, writing, etc., you will be able to get through your work more efficiently and effectively, as well as save more quality time for rest and relaxation, your family, and friends.

In addition to minimizing the digital distractions, it’s important to find yourself a tidy, quiet place to work. If you have your own desk in your bedroom, keep it clean and uncluttered. If you don’t have this luxury, find a quiet place elsewhere in your home, or plan to go to your local library when you have work to do.

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2. Develop a system for organizing your work

Whether you use paper or a laptop, it’s important to keep your work organized. This will prevent you from losing assignments or forgetting to do them in the first place. Moreover, taking the time to develop a filing system on your desktop (or one on your literal desk) will make studying for your cumulative mid-year and final exams much easier.  

3. Make to-do lists  

As your responsibilities increase (and trust us, they will only continue to do so), you may find yourself losing track of everything you need to do. It can be helpful to make lists of the things you need to accomplish, and it can be incredibly satisfying to mark off the things you have completed. So, regardless of whether you choose to use scraps of paper or something a bit more sophisticated on your smartphone, taking note of the things you’d like to accomplish in the short-term can pave the way to what you would like to achieve in the long-run!

4. Keep a consistent schedule

With a standard school day and extracurricular activities filling your afternoons, chances are your schedule is already pretty consistent. However, you can take your organizational skills to the next level by sticking to another sort of schedule in your downtime. Perhaps you could set aside Sunday afternoons to get organized, make your weekly to-do list, and spend some time looking at information about colleges, or you could set aside a certain block of time each evening during the week for reading and studying. This level of consistency will ensure that you make time for what is important.

As you can see, tackling the remainder of junior year in an organized and focused fashion will be easy! By simply minimizing distractions and developing systems to organize your time and work, you will help ensure that you will accomplish a great deal in the short-term and will set yourself up to succeed in the long-run as well!


The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.