I’ve always been lucky in the sense that I’ve never struggled to organise my work so I thought it could be handy to pass on some of the techniques I used to other students who might struggle.
I always keep my lecture/ seminar notes from one module together. After each lecture I will add my notes to the correct folder/book to ensure they remain in chronological order and in the correct module sections.
This saves me a lot of time when it comes to writing assignments and revising. I also use separate note books for different modules in my lectures. This also helps keep different notes separate and easier to find.
At the start of each semester, I make a list of all assignments due, in chronological order. This way I can clearly see when a due date is coming up.
It is crucial to start your assignments as early as possible in order to avoid the stress of not having enough time to complete work.
I also always start early so I can have days off from work when writing my assignments to help me relax and avoid running out of enthusiasm and energy.
The number one tip I swear by is splitting up each assignment into separate tasks.
If I’m writing an essay for example, I make a list of each thing I need to do. In this list I include research time, planning time and time writing each paragraph.
This will allow you to take baby-steps throughout your assignment, making it less daunting and thus easier to handle.
I always plan approximately how many days it will take me to complete each task. I find using days rather than hours gives you more flexibility in case something takes longer than you anticipated, helping you stick to your plan more easily.
If I know a particular section is going to take me a while to do, I factor in a couple of days to compensate for this. I always do this for my research time. If I know a task isn’t going to take me a full day, I will plan more tasks to complete in the day.
Because I am an organised person, I then find it easier to assign specific days of the week to each task however some find this too restricting and end up not following the plan.
If this is you, I suggest you leave your planning at this stage and instead factor in an extra day of work or two so you can do whatever section you feel like per day without deviating from your plan.
As I complete each task, I tick it off on the list I created when I first started planning. Not only does this show you how much you have left, but for me it definitely works as a motivator when I can tick off a section and see my progress.
If I have multiple assignments in at once, I still use the same method. If there is a gap between two deadlines I tend to complete one essay after the other.
However if due dates are too close together I tend to alternate days between different assignments and give myself extra time when I begin organising them.
These steps can be applied to any assignment; not just essays. This method can even be applied to exam revision.
Just make a list of each topic you need to revise, estimate the amount of days you need to spend on each topic then add that number up to show you how long you need to spend revising. (Just remember to factor in even more days off than you would if you were writing an essay!).
Learning how to organise your assignments can become a life saver, especially when you start getting multiple assignments due in around the same time. Hopefully I’ve helped you gain a new way of organising assignments to make the process easier for you.
If not, don’t worry! There are plenty of different techniques you can use to help organise work, it’s just a matter of finding out what works best for you.
If you’re still struggling, try using the internet to research some different ways to organise yourself. For example, here’s some great tips and advice on time-management and workload.