Welcome to the first post in the 2016 Back to School Series: Staying Organised.
One of the biggest issues I have faced, especially in my last two years of High School has got to be organisation.
Since the start, I wanted to do a post that would benefit all of my readers, hence leading to the creation of this short (but detailed) list of study/ organisation tips, of what I feel, have caused me to succeed keeping organised and reaching my goals.
Tip 1; Prioritise your work.
Determine what tasks are important and what are not as important. This is typically determined by when the task is to be completed by and what kind of task it is.
For example; assignments are split up along the timeline until their due date as they require more time and effort, whereas essays and simple homework tasks are to be done promptly and are usually due within the next few days of receiving them, so place them as urgent and place them in order of due date.
Tip 2; Specify when you want to do a certain task.
Timetables or to-do lists are always a handy way to organise the work you have due, especially if you have long folio style assignments that can take you the duration of the term to finish and most times these are the tasks that we tend to forget about.
Timetables and to-do lists allow for allocation of tasks on specific days at specific times during the year.
NOTE: These must also allow for you everyday activities and unavoidable tasks, such as breakfast, lunch, dinner, any co-curricular activities you are involved in, and sleep. Do not make your timetable start at six in the morning if you wake up at nine. Its not worth it.
Tip 3; Give yourself time (or better yet; Make Time).
Allocate time slots in your timetable for each of your tasks on the allocated days. This is probably the best way to complete tasks as you have a realistic time limit (e.g. 50 mins for a set of math questions) and you feel great once you have finished the task. This also prevents procrastination and works best when all distractions, i.e phones, laptops, books, etc, are eliminated from the immediate work area.
I also recommend setting a timer while doing the task, as it creates the need to ‘beat the clock’ and in turn, work tends to get completed at a quicker rate.
And as mentioned above; allow for food, sleep and exercise breaks, as well as 20-40 mins of what I like to call me time, where you can do whatever you want and have a break from work.
Tip 4; Add notes and Reminders.
These are quite important, as they ensure you have the maximum time you have allocated to complete your work by ensuring that you do not forget any materials that are needed.
For example; If math study is taking place at the library, make a note to bring your calculator, pencil case, protractor, etc. because if any material is forgotten – especially if your alone – you can just wind up sitting, staring at your work, and in turn it takes longer to complete because essential time saving materials are missing.
p.s. I also like to add my location, who i’m with, and a category to tasks, especially in my calendar 🙂
Tip 5; Jazz it up!
This one is my personal favourite. For all those colour freaks out there (yes me included); don’t be scared to colour code or decorate your timetables. The great thing about timetables are that they’re personal and only you have to look at them, meaning that no one else has to try to understand your colour system. The colours make it visually appealing and you are more likely to check it if it is not just black words on white paper.
I like to make each subject a different colour. These colours typically match the folders that the subject is kept in, helping me find the work easily.
E.g; English is pink,
Math is blue,
Accounting is yellow,
Psychology is red,
Biology is green.
Tip 6; Have all notes in full view.
My last tip here and probably the key to actually using your timetable is to have it in full view AT ALL TIMES!
I cannot stress this enough. If all your hard work is put somewhere in a drawer or a binder, even if is a photo on your laptop that you hardly use; the timetable will hardly be used. It is that simple.
My trick is to place it above your allocated work area so it is in full view even when studying; or make it your screensaver for any device that is being constantly used, be it your laptop, tablet or phone. But my personal favourite which has always worked for me, is to place it behind your door. Especially if your door is directly across from your bed, it will be in full view when you wake up in the morning, doesn’t ruin the decor of your room, and mum can’t see it so she can’t get mad.
Bonus Tip; Know when you study best!
This is honestly the most important tip of all. I, myself am a morning person – by morning I mean getting up at 8:30 – and I know that this is the time my brain tends to work its best and I get most of my work done; as might be the same for some people. Others, might be night owls and have a greater concentration level during the later hours of the day, therefore completing there homework at night.
But remember to always get your 6-8 hours of sleep every night as to wake you refreshed and ready for the day ahead!
Hope this helps!
Love Bree xx
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