Seven Study Tips To Get You Organised and Keep You On Schedule
Have you ever been taught how to learn? None of us have, have we! Here we provide our seven study tips to help you get organised, and keep you on the right track to success.
From food prep and batch-cooking; finding a ‘study buddy’ to getting yourself in the right mindset; through to creating the best learning environment; there is more to studying than you might think.
Once you get organised, though, you will save yourself precious time and energy. And you will find you are far more effective and prepared for your studies – either in an online learning environment or meeting your fellow students and tutors in the classroom.
First things first. Remember that you have a life to live around your studies.
Whether you are studying full-time alongside a day job, whether you’re home with your little ones causing havoc as you read, or you’re simply a social butterfly who loves to keep up with friends, trying to fit everything in takes some dedication and commitment.
But don’t let this put you off furthering your education. Follow our study tips and everything will fall into place so much easier.
Seven Study Tips
1. Keep a Study Diary
I love technology, don’t get me wrong. But I also love the idea of a good old-fashioned paper diary.
Of course, you can use your phone. But it is a known fact that the simple act of physically writing on a page brings the task to life and helps you remember it more than aimlessly typing something else into your phone or electronic diary.
A study diary keeps all your learning module launches, classroom sessions, online tutorials, assignment deadlines, exams, and other important study dates all in one place.
And if your diary is big enough, you can incorporate your to-do lists in there too.
2. Write to-do lists
Imagine the time you waste trying to find your notes, scribbling on Post-Its, remembering which study book you wrote them in, and all that palaver.
A to-do list in your diary will keep a clearer focus on the to-do’s against the deadlines, and enables you to schedule realistic timescales, knowing what else you have going on at the same time.
We’re looking to keep your stress levels low wherever we can. And our study tips always include writing to-do lists to help with that.
Of course, it’s great writing to-do lists. But actually sticking to them is another matter!
So, if you’re a more visual character, and you have a whiteboard or notice board near your desk or study area, utilise that to keep your study tasks clearly in view.
The next step is to prioritise.
3. Prioritise to avoid overwhelm
Looking at your list of videos to watch, modules to complete, and essays to write can be overwhelming. And of course, can put you off actually getting started.
It’s easy to get caught in the trap of ticking off the quicker, ‘easier’ things first, leaving the more time-consuming and complex ones until later. But this doesn’t always work when it comes to working to deadlines for specific tasks.
Putting yourself under pressure is likely to detrimentally impact your results. Which none of us want to see.
So, once you have your list, rewrite it in order of priority of completion. No matter how difficult each task is, if it has to be done first, then give yourself enough time to do it. And do it to your very best standard.
If you feel overwhelmed once you have prioritised, then break it down into smaller bite-size chunks, which are far more achievable.
And tracking your progress, by flipping those ‘to-do’s’ into ‘done’s’ is such an amazing feeling. The sense of achievement from ticking off each step will drive you forward to your next priority.
4. Study tips to organise your time effectively
As I’ve already mentioned, and you will no doubt find out for yourself, time will be precious when you start a new learning plan. And time flies when you’re having fun!
So, plan ahead to use all available time as best you can. Even if it’s just a quick read-through of an upcoming module, or to refresh yourself on previous lesson notes. Catching up on an online lecture whilst you’re washing up or walking the dog. As a certain supermarket says, “every little helps.” And if you can slot tasks into any spare time you have, you’ll soon start to notice how quickly you’re progressing.
If you are attending classroom lectures or tutorials, always plan to ensure prompt arrival, and incorporate travel time.
And do the same for virtual learning too.
You’ll get the best from your study sessions if you first get used to making sure everything you need is close to hand, building in your break times, and having a formal start and end to your session.
You might think it more efficient to carry on working when your head is telling you to have a break. But in fact, it will be counter-productive. Know your limits! And don’t be afraid to set boundaries around your study time.
Food preparation and batch cooking – yep, we even include this in our study tips!
It may take some getting used to, and seem a pain to start with. But when you’ve been sitting at your desk for a couple of hours, after seeing to the children, or working all day too, the last thing you want to do is cook from scratch.
Structure and healthy study habits create the most effective learning environment.
Speaking of structure, who doesn’t love a shiny new stationery order?!
5. Create a simple filing system and storage space
I would also strongly advise taking the time to set up a filing system to keep all your materials, course notes, revision prep, and useful information.
Hard copy files in coloured or labelled folders. Or virtual folders on your laptop – you never know what you will need when it comes to assignments and exams, so make your labels logical for you. Be mindful that you might need additional storage capacity too.
And remember to back everything up!
6. Stay calm and ask for help
OK, so it may be easier said than done when you have deadlines looming, lectures you know you must attend, and exam revision to squeeze in.
But panic or overwhelm doesn’t help.
Study groups or a study buddy – use all the support you can. There is always someone on hand to help if you just ask. Finding a study group or a study buddy might help. You’re not on your own, and if you have any questions, I’m sure there will be at least one other student on your course with the same or a similar question.
I am always on hand to pick up any queries or to talk through your concerns. And if you would like more guidance on study tips to get you organised, just reach out.
Your achievements are my goals too, so it’s in all our interests to work together.
Oh, and one last thing.
7. Remember the importance of sleep and rest
Healthy study habits also include getting enough sleep to keep you energised, fully focused, clear-headed.
Trying to catch your full eight hours might be a challenge. But studying late into the night, on top of other commitments, is not sustainable either.
The Education and Training Academy wants to make sure you enjoy your learning experience, so I hope you have found these study tips to get you organised and keep you on schedule useful.