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How to get organised and ace your studies

Posted on 07/09/2016 by
One of the best ways to get organised is to plan for the week ahead on a Sunday afternoon. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and do some planning - you'll be surprised at how 'in control' it makes you feel.

One of the best ways to get organised is to plan for the week ahead on a Sunday afternoon. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and do some planning – you’ll be surprised at how ‘in control’ it makes you feel.

Welcome to Part 1 of our six-part series: ‘Becoming a Successful Distance Learner’. Every week, we will share one practical tip to help you excel at studying from home. Be sure to check back every Wednesday for the next tip.

Do you ever feel like “there’s just not enough hours in the day?” or “no matter how hard you try, you can never cross everything off your to-do list?”

We understand. Life is busy, and it can be incredibly difficult to fit study around work, family and personal commitments.

Difficult, yes. But impossible? No. All you have to do is get REALLY organised!

Don’t worry – we can help. Getting organised is often a matter of creating positive, productive habits. And like any habits, they can be learned with patience and practice.

Here are three habits of highly organised students – incorporate these habits into your weekly routine and you’ll be amazed by the results.

1. Create a study plan (and stick to it!)

Every Sunday afternoon, sit down and plan for the week ahead. Use a calendar, diary, or planner to block out all of your non-negotiable commitments (such as picking the kids up from school or going to work), and then dedicate time to study around these commitments.

There’s an art to creating a study plan and everyone has a slightly different approach. The most important thing is that you stick to it! For clear instructions on how to create a plan, including a free study plan template, check out this blog post we wrote on the topic earlier this year.

2. Choose your Study Spot

Successful distance learners study in the same spot all the time (or at least as often as they can). This could be a corner of a bedroom or living room, a spare room, or even the garage – try to choose a spot where you will be comfortable and uninterrupted.

The reason why it’s good to choose a Study Spot is that it means you can keep all of your ‘study tools’ in one place. For example, your computer, pens, notes, and books. This will save you from getting up every five minutes. Try to make sure all your tools are within arm’s reach.

Studying in the same spot all the time also means you can separate ‘home life’ from ‘study life’. When you sit down at your desk you know it’s time to concentrate. And when you leave your desk, you know you can relax and not worry about study again until the next day.

3. Set small goals and reward yourself as you go

Another habit of highly organised students is that they reward themselves for hard work along the way. Staying organised can be tiring, so you might as well give yourself a pat on the back when you do well.

Here are some examples of small goals and rewards for being organised:

  • If you stick to your study plan all week, you can go to the movies with friends on Saturday night
  • If you finish your assignment on time, you can sleep-in on the weekend
  • If you don’t look at your phone during any of your study sessions, you can buy yourself some new stationery

Set rewards based on what will inspire you the most – for some it might be a cup of hot chocolate at a nearby cafe, for others it might be a brand new pen from the stationery store.

Staying organised takes time and commitment, but once you form good habits you’ll find it becomes easier and easier to stick to your study plan. Remember to celebrate small wins along the way, and if you have any questions, be sure to reach out to your ITC Study From Home tutor.

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