Your guide to the perfect after-school routine

It's the high school grind: You just took two pop quizzes, you spilled coffee on your go-to crewneck and your fave pen ran out of ink...and now you're expected to crank out hours of assignments?

We know—it sounds impossible. How can you possibly check *everything* off your to-do list and stay sane? Don't worry, girl. Take a deep breathe and leave that negativity behind.

We created a step-by-step guide to tackling your to-do list so you can go to sleep at a reasonable hour *and* sneak in the skincare routine, ofc. 

Set the space


You're probably going to spend a fair amount of time at your chosen workspace, so it needs to work for you and your productivity. Press play on your fave lo-fi beats track and spend no more than 10 minutes (we've got important things to do!) decluttering the space, clearing out any dishes or wrappers from last night's homework session and lighting a candle (or turning on the essential oil diffuser). 


There might be days when *every* teacher decides to go assignment-crazy. Look at your workload in the bigger picture to decide what to tackle first. Start with the quickest assignments and then get the most urgent deadlines out of the way—you definitely don't want to deal with the stress when you start to get sleepy. Short-term assignments should be completed first, leaving you with time to study for that math test and finish your art presentation. Create a checklist in your preferred order on a sticky note: Enjoy the satisfaction of crossing off completed assignments as the evening goes on. 

Get comfy


Even though you've got plenty of work ahead, there's no reason why you can't throw on your comfiest (and cutest) sweatset to do it! You're probably going to be in that outfit for quite a while, so being uncomfy is *not* the vibe.

Grab snacks

Since you'll be tackling your to-do list in between meals, it might be a good idea to keep a few brain snacks nearby. We have five ideas right here! Quick and easy options include popcorn, veggie sticks and freeze-dried strawberries. Don't forget your water bottle, too. A hydrated homework-doer? Unstoppable. 

Don't ditch dinner


We get it—when you're in the zone it can be hard to pull yourself away from an assignment. What if you lose your train of thought? What if the dinner break turns into an extended homework hiatus and you "forget" to return to the grind? Trust us, it's worth it. Your body needs brain food! When you're called for dinner, finish up that last paragraph and step away. 

Take breaks

While your dinner break might be your longest time away, don't let it be your only moment of peace. Here are some easy ratios for when to take your breaks:

One assignment done = 5-minute break

30 minutes of work = 10-minute break

One hour of work = 15-minute break

It can be tempting to grab your phone throughout breaks, so try not to give in. Inevitably, your break will be twice as long as planned because of the TikTok rabbit hole you fell into (we know from experience). It's easier to avoid that predicament altogether. Instead, play a song or two on your ukulele or hug your dog. Whatever you do, step away from socials *and* your work. 

Know when to call it a day

It's way past waking hours. You've already reviewed your flashcards five times, but you cannot bring yourself to stop studying. It's only a matter of time until you start questioning if you even know the test topics at all. Take a deep breath. At this point, it's definitely time to call it a day. Besides, you're not doing yourself any favors by losing sleep.


You did it! Your homework is finished. Take a second to bask in this success! A dance party for one, perhaps?

Rinse the day off


If you're typically a nighttime showerer, then you know that the perfect end to a productive night is a good shower. Let the water wash the day away.

Self-care sesh

Now that you're out of the shower, it's time to go about your nightly routine. Skincare and teeth-brushing, here we come!

Bedtime (finally!)

You've finally made it to bed. Don't let your phone take your zzz's away. A little Instagram scroll can be nice while sitting in bed...but as soon as the lights go out, settle for calming music, a book or a podcast. Set the sleep timer—go!

We can't wait for you to girlboss your way through the school week!
Tag us in your study setups on Insta @girlslifemag for a chance to be featured.

Need more school-related content? We got you, girl.
📖 Read *this* if you're currently procrastinating
📖 How to motivate yourself to do homework over school breaks
📖 A study playlist for every homework vibe

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Slider photo via @engr.charlene


by Riley Yates | 2/23/2022