Friday, 7 August 2015

STUDENT SERIES: HOW TO STAY ORGANISED


Being organised at University/school is extremely important. I am naturally quite an organised person and I love making lists but for those of you who aren't as organised or might just want some more tips on how to stay organised at University or school then this post is for you. 

If you're organised and prepared then you're more likely to do well and it will save you time in the long run and relieve pressure when deadlines are approaching. Here are a few tips to help you manage your time, avoid clutter, set goals, and stay on an organised path to success.

 1. Get a diary 
Keeping a diary for university/school work and using it to record your deadlines is such a good way of helping to get you organised. I like to write down when my assignments are due, what work I have to do before each seminar/lecture, when my lectures and seminars are and also other social activities I may have.

2. Print off your timetable
Every year at the start of term I always print off my Uni timetable and stick it up on the back of my bedroom door and by my desk. I find this really useful so you can check what lessons you need to prepare for before you leave your room and when you're studying you can easily see when your lessons are and then do any work that is needed for your lessons the next day.

3. Make to-do lists
I am a list person. I write lists for anything and everything and this is a great way of keeping you organised. I like to do a to-do list the night before and then add to it throughout the day if I get any work.

4. Break up your study time
It's really important to ensure you break up your study time throughout the week. I am going into my final year of Uni and I know how important studying will be to ensure I can get the best grade possible. I like to determine how many study hours I will need during the week, and schedule in any other extra curriculum activities I have as well as my part time job to ensure that I can get enough studying in around my social activities.

5. Have a simple filing system 
Knowing where you've filed your things for each module is really helpful. It means that you will be able to find things quickly and easily so it doesn't eat into your study time. I like to have a ring binder and file any work I do in separate file dividers. 

6. Back up your work 
It is so important to back up your work. I know someone who had only saved their dissertation to their laptop and a week before the deadline it got stolen when the house was broken into and it meant he had to start all over again. I find that sending all my work to my one drive or hotmail account is a good way to ensure you always have it on file. I will also be saving my University work onto a USB stick this year to ensure it's saved numerous times.

7. Set yourself goals
Set realistic goals at the beginning of the academic year. I like to write my goals down in a list format and stick this by my desk to ensure that I can clearly see them. I find that writing down my goals makes them more concrete, and motivates you to keep working towards them.

8. Create an effective study area and avoid clutter
Make sure you've got a well-lit, quiet area for studying. It'd be wrong for me to tell you not to study with music on in the background or the tv on because for some people this helps them to study, but for me, having a programme on in the background is a big no. I don't mind some nice music on as I don't really like to work in silence, but I would get too fixated on a tv programme and end up not doing any work. If you can’ t find a quiet spot at home, go to the library. For me I prefer working in my bedroom but something I get more done in the library so it just depends. I always avoid studying on my bed because I will either fall asleep or just get too comfy and become distracted! Be careful not to clutter your desk area as the year progresses. Having to build in time to clear your desk space will only eat into your study time. I find that if I have separate folders for each module then I find that I create less mess.

9. Write things down
The best way for me to revise is when I write everything down, even if this means re-writing up notes that you've taken in a lecture. It's so important to ensure you write down any deadlines/upcoming presentations you need to prepare for or any group work sessions so you keep on top of the things you need to do.

10. Colour code
Another effective way of staying organised when studying is colour coding your work. I like to colour code my revision notes and also try and colour code my modules so that I can differentiate each subject. 

11. Break up your revision/work
I find that by breaking up my big tasks such as assignments, I am more productive. If I do little bits at a time then I feel like the work I'm producing is of a higher standard. 

12. Ask for help
It is SO important to ask for help if you're not sure of something. Whether you ask your tutor or a friend, never let it get too near the deadline as then you'll be piling on the pressure and your work won't be as good. Don’ t let it get to the point that you’ re totally confused. 

So there you have it! 12 tips that I use to stay organised whilst at Uni. I hope this helps some of you. Do you follow any other tips? I'd love to know :)


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