Flaticon IconThis is John. He is a grade 12 student and is stressed out!

He has a number of assignments due, plays in a band with his friends, and works a part-time job.

How can he stay organized and keep his cool?

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With a few strategies John will be just fine!

Make A List

What do you need to get done?

The act of writing it down will help you visualize your tasks, and make the workload feel less overwhelming. Give yourself small goals by breaking down larger tasks into smaller tasks.

Your list could take many forms, like:

  • A bunch of sticky notes

  • A list in your agenda

  • A Google Calendar

The most useful list is one you will actually use!

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John really needs to keep track of his tasks. Which task would make sense to include on his list?

Complete summative essay

Read physics textbook this semester

Get school work done

Schedule meeting with group members

Prioritize Your Tasks


  • What is most urgent? Do these things first.

  • What is most important? Be sure to schedule these tasks.

  • What will take the most time to complete? Break it down into smaller steps.

  • Do you need to work with others? You'll need to take their schedules into account.

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John needs your help:

John has an independent study due by end of week that is worth 30% of his grade. The following week he has two group assignments due and a math quiz.


In which order would you suggest that John prioritize his school work?

Groups, Independent Study, Quiz

Independent study, Quiz, Groups

Quiz, Groups, Independent Study

Groups, Quiz, Independent Study

Schedule Breaks

Don't underestimate the value of a quality break: schedule these into your day!

A walk around the block, a quick stretch, or some deep breaths can do wonders.

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How you schedule breaks depends on the work you are doing. For example, if you are really hitting your stride with a term paper, don't take a break yet even if the hour is up!

Consider taking a break:

  • After you complete a task

  • Once every hour

  • If you find that your focus has wandered

Remember: Sitting at your desk all day doesn't necessarily mean you're getting work done!


John is composing music for his band, a process that takes a few hours. How would you recommend that he schedule his breaks?

Every hour

When he is feeling really stuck

After composing one bar of music

After composing a page of music

Reward Yourself

A reward could be a piece of chocolate after you read a chapter, or 10 minutes of video games after you study for 2 hours.

As long as the reward is finite, and keeps you motivated, do whatever works for you!

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Take Action

What do you need to get done this week?


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This Byte has been authored by


Teenu Nisar

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Maria Sipsis

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