Although a relatively simple concept, many of us struggle to develop strong organizational skills. Imperative to the success of your studies, organizational skills help to limit stress and ensure work is completed to a high standard. The most organized student is not necessarily the one who spends the most time on their work; effective organization will actually result in better productivity. If you think that it is time you made organization your priority, follow the six steps below.
- Designate a study area
It is extremely difficult to be organized among chaos, so make sure you have an appropriate working space to begin with. A quiet, well-lit area free from distractions is perfect for study. If you feel comfortable in the designated area, you will be in a better position to organize yourself moving forward.
- Set goals
Whilst goal setting is a simple task, it is very important to keeping you on track towards organizational success. Having goals in front of you reminds you of the bigger picture, and allows you to remain realistic about your work. Overall goals should be set, as well as breaking them down into smaller, more specific options.
- Write a contacts list
From the beginning of your studies, you should know and understand the contacts that will be of use to you. The details of key teaching staff, student administrators and peers should be written in your diary. Having these within reach allows relevant people to be contacted with ease and time. An understanding of which person is the relevant contact for certain subject matters is also important for this step.
- Manage time wisely
As a busy working adult, time is always of the essence. It is therefore imperative that you use any spare time to your advantage and become excellent at multitasking. If you have a spare 30 minutes in between a meeting, use it to move forward in your studies. Similarly, if you spend time commuting to work each day on public transport, use that time to get ahead. As William Shakespeare once said, “Make use of time, let not advantage slip”.
- Use a calendar
An organizational tool such as a calendar or a diary will be extremely beneficial to you during your studies. Using one calendar for study deadlines, work commitments and personal content is necessary so that you can work them all around each other. It is also recommended to set personal deadlines in your calendar, such as ‘complete two paragraphs by this date’, so that you ensure you are on track with even minor things. When you use more than one calendar, you run the risk of missing appointments or scheduling two things at the same time.
- Write detailed lists
Writing a list is a common step towards better organization, however they are especially useful when broken down into very small tasks. Whilst it may feel like you are micromanaging yourself, writing detailed lists will put you on the right track to becoming the most organized student there is. Breaking down tasks to this level ensures that no task is missed. The smaller things tend to slip our mind when we are busy, so writing them down means you can come back to them later.
What do you think?
What are your tips for becoming an organized student? We are sure that everyone would have his or her own tactics, so we would love to hear what does and does not work for you. Share your views in a comment below.