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    Getting ready for back to school: How setting goals can help Generation Z students excel in the new school year

    Generation Z, born between 1995 and 2012, is the first generation to grow up with a widespread use of digital tools. While technology is now part of everyday life, it’s important to remember that writing things down can be the first step to getting them done, especially when it comes to identifying and achieving goals for the upcoming school year.

    David Stillman, coauthor of “Gen Z @ Work,” speaker and generations expert, explains that this generation lives in a “phigital” world – they seamlessly combine their digital and physical surroundings. “While Gen Z has grown up in a world full of the latest technology, when it comes to education, we find they value a combination of both analog and digital tools to help them achieve goals and get through daily tasks,” Stillman says.

    According to a recent study commissioned by the Post-it Brand, 79 percent of Gen Zers write down their goals on paper.

    Jonah Stillman, a recent Gen Z high school graduate who writes and speaks about Gen Z with his father David, adds, “While I use technology all day long, when it comes to lists and goal setting, when I write things down it signals that it needs to be done and it’s not as easy to forget.”

    To help Gen Z prepare for back to school, David and Jonah offer tips for parents to help their students excel in the new school year.

    Combine the analog and the digital. Getting and staying organized is easier when students have the tools that work best for them. “When it comes to education and learning strategies, analog tools can complement the digital tools that Gen Z is so entrenched in,” states David Stillman. Post-it Super Sticky Notes are an easy way for students to jot down quick, digestible thoughts as they are studying and with two times the sticking power, they stick and re-stick so information can seamlessly be organized and rearranged.

    Keep track of to-dos. According to the same study from the brand, 89 percent of Gen Z respondents reported they forgot to do a task or missed a deadline specifically because they didn’t write it down. Having List Notes on hand can help students keep track of their tasks and they are easy to take on the go to keep to-dos front and center.

    Schedule “non-digital” time. While technology is an everyday presence, it can also be disruptive. Fifty-seven percent of Gen Z explain they are often distracted by TV and social media, so it’s important to take a physical and mental break from electronic devices. Encourage students to set aside “non-digital” time each day to read and have face-to-face communication. Students can use this time to focus on studying, school work or the goals they are trying to achieve.

    Mark what’s important. Encourage students to use Flags and Tabs to help them mark important information, whether it’s a new fact to study from their notebook, key material from a textbook or even a goal in their planner that they are working toward. Marking essential information will ensure that no time is wasted getting to the right page and gives more time to focus on the task at hand.

    Write it down to achieve it. Research has found that you’re 42 percent more likely to get something done if you write it down. At the beginning of the school year, sit down with students to help them identify and write down their goals. Check in regularly about their progress and visit to check out additional tips on goal setting and how students can #makeitstick this school year.

    Survey details: The Post-it Brand Gen Z Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research ( among 1,000 U.S. “Gen Z” respondents ages 13-21, between June 7 and June 15, 2017, using an email invitation and an online survey.

    Matthews, G. (2007). The impact of commitment, accountability, and written goals on goal achievement. Paper presented at the 87th Convention of the Western Psychological Association, Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

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