[Skip to Content]

Organizing Schoolwork & Assignments


Learning how to get organized, stay focused, and get things done are must-have skills when it comes to managing your schoolwork. Beyond helping you get good grades, these skills help you in just about everything in life. The more you practice, the better you'll get.

Get Organized

Organize Your Stuff. Being organized makes everything else easier. It helps you get to work faster without wasting time looking for stuff.

Keep your assignments and class information organized by subject. Put them in binders, notebooks, or folders. If you find yourself stuffing loose papers in your bag or grabbing different notebooks for the same class, it's time to stop and reorganize!

Clean out your backpack regularly. Decide where to keep returned assignments and things you want to hold on to. Offload things you no longer need to carry around.

Organize Your Space. You need a good workspace — someplace quiet enough to focus. It's best to work at a desk or table where you can spread out your work. Have a place set aside for homework. That way, when you sit down, your mind knows you're there to work and can help you focus more quickly.

Organize Your Time. Use a planner or organization app to keep track of your schoolwork:

Get Focused

Avoid Distractions. When you multi-task you're less focused. That means you're less likely to do well on that test. Park your devices and only check them after your work is done.

Some people concentrate best when it's quiet. Others say they study best if they listen to background music. If you study with music on, make sure it isn't going to sidetrack you into singing the lyrics and dancing all over your room. If you find yourself reading the same page over and over, it's a clue that the music is a distraction, not a help.

Take Breaks. Taking a short break between assignments can help your mind stay fresh and focused.

Get up from your desk, move, stretch, or walk around to clear your head. Allow your mind to absorb what you've just studied. Break time is when you can put on a song that makes you dance and sing! Just make sure you get back to your studies in a few minutes.

Refocus Yourself. If you find yourself getting distracted and thinking about other things, pull your attention back into study mode as soon as possible. Remind yourself that now it's time to stay on task.

Get It Done!

Stay focused as you do the final steps and details. Encourage yourself — you're almost at the finish line! Check your completed work. Put your work into the right folder or binder. Pack up your backpack for tomorrow. Now you've got it DONE.

In summary, here's a quick checklist of things that can help you organize, focus, and get it done:

If you need more tips on staying focused, ask a teacher, school counselor, or a parent for help. It's their job to assist in your learning.

Reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
Date reviewed: November 2017


Note: All information on TeensHealth® is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995- The Nemours Foundation. All rights reserved.

Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com