Getting Organised

Start organised: Stay organised
Sara Steinke
Aims of the session
• To identify what you have already achieved in
terms of getting organised for studying at
• To recognise key organisational strategies to
help you to study effectively and efficiently at
• To draw up your ‘to do’ list of organisational
strategies to action before you start your
Why start organised?
• Adult learners have many, often competing,
demands on their time; involving work, family
and studying
• Poor organisational skills prevents students
from achieving their best
• Related to other study skills
– study space, time management, essay writing,
presentations, exams, revision, reading, note-taking
• Helps you to achieve your short and long term
Cottrell, S. The Study Skills Handbook
chapter 4
C - Creative
have the confidence to use your individual strategies and styles, apply
imagination to your learning
R - Reflective
sit with your experience, analyse and evaluate your own performance
and draw lessons from it
E - Effective
organise your space, time, priorities, state of mind and resources to
the maximum benefit
A - Active
be personally involved, do things, physically and mentally in order to
make sense of what you learn
M - Motivated
be aware of your desired outcomes using short and long-term 'goals'
Think about the following
1. Have you created an
adequate and dedicated
study space?
2. Are you comfortable?
3. Have you enough space to
work in?
4. Do you have all the
equipment that you need?
5. How are you going to
organise your notes/books?
Think about the following
1. What pressures are
there on your time?
2. Have you thought
about how you are
going to fit in studying
with your work and
family commitments?
3. If so, what ideas have
you had?
Setting goals
• academic
• professional
• personal goals
• short (this year)
• medium (next year)
• long (3 years) goals
Stay organised
• Use one diary to
create a ‘to-do list’
• Prioritise tasks
• Note deadlines –
write down dates
you must begin
working towards the
• Establish a study
Stay organised
Write down the three most important
organisational skills that you have
learnt/thought about in this session?
Why are they important to you?
2. Identify which organisation skills you can
use to start organised and stay organised.
How are you going to use these
organisation skills to plan your study?
Recap of session
• We have looked at what you have already
done to get organised for studying at
university – well done
• You have created a organisation skills ‘to do’
list in order to start organised at university
• We have identified organisational strategies to
help you stay organised at university
Cottrell, S. (2008) The Study
Skills Handbook, 3rd Edition
(London, Palgrave) chapter 4
‘The C.R.E.A.M. Strategy for
learning’ pp.70-79
online resources on organisational
skills available on the Birkbeck
Library website
helpful information on
organisational skills on the
Skills4Study website
studyskills/course timetable
20 minute interactive tutorial
supporting this Student
Orientation programme
study skills workshops which
deal with organisational skills –
and other study skills – in
greater detail

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