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Independent Learning

  1. Organise Your Stuff. Being organised makes everything else easier; make sure you have everything you need, and all your files and notes are organised so you can work effectively and find information when you need to. 
  2. Organise Your Space. You need a good workspace, someplace quiet enough to focus; chances are you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk studying. Ensure your workstation is set up so you are as comfortable as possible to minimise any injury. You can find out more with this display screen equipment (DSE) workstation checklist.  Try to have your space so you can work effectively, not amongst lots of mess!
  3. Organise Your Time. Use a planner or organisation app to keep track of your work; being seriously organised with your calendar is the key to making sure there are no nasty surprises (aka deadlines).  Make sure you know all the important dates coming up in your course (and social) calendar, such as assignment deadlines and exam dates, so that you can easily see your busy periods and plan accordingly.
  4. Avoid Distractions.  If you know working near the Xbox or having your phone next to you will distract you, adjust accordingly.  Be honest with yourself about what tempts you away from concentrating and if possible, arrange your workspace (or time) away from distractions.  
  5. Take Breaks. Making a hot drink, going for a walk, or chatting with a friend; regular breaks are vital. After a certain amount of time on one task, your brain will need a break to reset. Our brains need a break roughly every 90 minutes or alertness wanes, leaving you fidgety, with difficulty focusing and often drowsy. 

Why Successful People Get Organised Podcast

In this episode Alex interviews Academic Librarian and Wikimedian of the Year 2020 Caroline Ball to discuss the useful skill of organisation. Being organised allows you to be prepared to take opportunities and to be more efficient in the tasks that you do. It is a very broad skill and so we will be discussing advice for different types of organisation including organising your time, organising your research and organising projects. We are also going to be discussing how organisation can help your mental health.

Alex, Diana, Catherine and Naomi from the University of Derby Skills team outline how they get organised, their methods of reflection and give their advice for how to prepare for academic study.

Their discussion about organisation is supported by voices of current students from the University of Derby.

Getting Organised Videos

Getting Organised Skills Short - 2 mins

Alex discusses how to get organised with your studies.

Organising and Planning for the New Semester Livestream - 1 hour

Join the Skills Team for our livestream about how getting organised and planning for the next semester. In this livestream we will discuss our advice for preparing to ace the new semester. We will also be covering another way of improving your grammar in grammar topic of the week.

Why Successful Students Get Organised with Caroline Ball Video Podcast - 1 hour

Alex interviews Academic Librarian and Wikimedian of the Year 2020 Caroline Ball to discuss the useful skill of organisation. Being organised allows you to be prepared to take opportunities and to be more efficient in the tasks that you do. It is a very broad skill and so we will be discussing advice for different types of organisation including organising your time, organising your research and organising projects. We are also going to be discussing how organisation can help your mental health.