Clear desk, clear mind – it’s not a myth! Studies have proven that cleaning up your physical space can also help clear up your headspace and prime your mind for the work ahead. Few things are more inviting than a tidy physical space to get work done and boost your productivity levels.
While preparing for the new semester ahead, freshen up your study space by decluttering and (re)organizing. For ideas on how to do so, Japanese organizing consultant and author Marie Kondo advocates for the KonMari method, a system of simplifying and organizing your home by getting rid of physical items that do not “spark joy”. A step-by-step guide to her approach can be found here.
After looking through your mid-year exam papers and revising what you've learnt in the first half of the year, it's time to gather your learning materials for the new school term.
First things first, grab your planner and note down all of the important upcoming events (exams, deadlines, etc.). If you don't already keep a daily planner, the new term is the perfect time to cultivate a new habit. Personalise your new planner to get excited for the start of classes, or keep it simple using the handbook issued by your school.
You might need new stationery to go with your new planner. Remember to stock up on writing materials, folders and notebooks for the rest of the school year. You don't want to be scrambling to the stationery shop later in the term when exams are around the corner!
3. Indulge in school-themed pop culture
Going back to school after the June holidays might seem like a chore after you’ve had one whole month of fun and time away from studying. But it doesn’t always have to be a drag. Now that you’ve cleaned up and gotten organized, to get psyched up for the reopening of school, watch or read something education-related.
Whether it’s a back-to-school YouTube video or a film set in a school, start looking forward to going for classes again by remembering the thrills and grinds of the schooling process through popular culture. Our recommendations include the Harry Potter series and the Gallagher Girls series.
4. Begin with the end in mind
Finally, start the new term with updated and realistic targets for the year. Whether it's an academic goal for your final exams or a focus on personal growth and maturation, write these plans down and prepare to work towards them in the coming months.
These goals need to be practical and achievable within the timeframe you have. A good gauge is to look at what you have achieved since the start of the year and adjust your expectations accordingly.
It also helps to break down your goal into smaller, more specific steps. Instead of saying "I want to get a better grade for my final exams in Mathematics", you can state: "I aim to work on Differentiation and Integration (the areas that I had trouble with in the mid-year exams) by attempting one practice question every day."