Going from a Credit to High Distinctions – Step 3: Organisation

Time to get organised

In our Credit to High Distinction series, organisation is the next most important step to getting better marks.

A small notebook to carry around at all times is a great tool to keep you organised. This could also include having an app on your phone plus a mixture of physical and digital diaries and calendars. Studies show that a physical diary/calendar/task list is more effective at making you feel organised and productive, but can also be cumbersome if you are a very mobile student.

Being organised is beneficial for several reasons:

  1. Increased productivity: studies show that having a list and a physical way of checking them off motivates people to get more tasks done. 
  2. Feeling of accomplishment: in the action of ticking things off or having a physical way of confirming a task has been completed, we give ourselves a feeling of accomplishment. Hence why physical rather than digital tools are preferred.
  3. It declutters your memory: I can’t speak for everyone but I certainly find it difficult to keep track of my assignment due dates, online meetings and work commitments. Having a list and a diary or calendar to jot things down really takes the stress off.
  4. It declutters your mind: this is similar to relieving your memory. If you have everything down on paper and have marked down a week beforehand when an assignment is due to give you time to work on it, you are keeping your mind focused. You can rely on your organisational tool and not get distracted or stressed about other things that don’t need to be in your mind at that time.
  5. Gives you flexibility: despite the initial appearance that being organised means that you’re rigid or a workaholic, being organised actually gives you a lot of free time. You can manage your work or study, set days or times off and give your social life a bit of TLC with the assurance that you aren’t going to submit anything late or miss an appointment.
  6. Relieves stress: all of the above factors demonstrate that ultimately being organised decreases stress levels. Stress is a key factor in physical and mental illnesses, lack of sleep, extreme weight fluctuations and more. Best to avoid it if possible!

Key things to remember: have a diary/task list/calendar, be vigilant and constant with writing in tasks and due dates!

If you haven’t already, check out Part 1 of this series where we look at how to build your perfect workspace. And then check out Part 2 with time management. You can never have too much time on your hands.