JansportI love the feeling of going back to school, and starting a new class with a brand new notebook and pen to make the first mark of the semester. But for many of us, making the transition from the summertime into student life can be quite tough. Here are a few tips on how to get a healthy start as you get back into school mode.
Revamp Your Schedule

As the productivity “experts” at Dumb Little Man blog suggest, “get into a routine.” Knowing your schedule ahead of time can allow you to plan ahead and construct your day.

One of the biggest routine changes might be your sleep schedule. There are lots of practical reasons why waking up early might be beneficial, such as increased productivity and the metabolism boost from an early breakfast. But years of research in sleep cycles and human circadian rhythms also show that our bodies’ sleep cycle are set to sunlight, so late light exposure around and beyond midnight can actually reset our cycles and make us want to sleep later and later each day.

The best solution? Set your sleep routine so that you wake up at an early hour to get your day started. Your body will need time to condition, but here are some tips with the help of the productivity blog, ZenHabits:

  1. Go to bed early enough. If you want to wake up earlier, you’ll have to make the effort to sleep earlier as well.
  2. Distance your alarm clock. Make it physically impossible to sleep through your alarm.
  3. Reward yourself.  Make that moment where you leave the comfort of your sheets as enticing as possible. Try coffee, a fragrant and warm shower, or loud music.

Plan and Prioritize

It’s hard to adjust to your busy school schedule, especially if you’re coming back from a very unstructured summer schedule. Peter Bregman, CEO of a global management consulting firm and expert on time and life management, recommends carving some time out of your day to plan and review:

  1. Make a list of what you want to get done for the day. The simple act of putting it down on paper can make you more successful in completing those tasks.
  2. Check in every hour and see how you’re doing in terms of getting those tasks completed. This will keep you on track and prevent you from straying from your daily goals.
  3. At the end of the day, review. Based on the list you made in the morning, see where you stand in the plan that you created. What kinds of things went well? What didn’t? Adjust accordingly.

Get Organized

With all these various things going on, getting organized to stay on top of everything will also be key. To keep track of things, make sure to be explicit.

  1. Write down things you need to do. This will make you less likely to forget, and will help you commit to the completion of your tasks.
  2. Designate a place for everything. In order to not waste time on misplaced items, like your room keys or student ID, always put them in the same place to create habit.
  3. Make it fun! As motivation, treat yourself to something nice or cute that will help you stay on track — like an artsy planner or fancy ink pens to cross off your to-do list.

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