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Organization: Before, during and after classes

Jan 20, 2014
There's a lot of information out there about organization when it comes to studying or exam preparation. But what about organization during the rest of the school year? Or while you're actually in class? What about organizing your room? Your closet? Your schedule? Your cats? Does it matter? Yes! If you're disciplined in one aspect of your life, it tends to carry over into other areas.

Before

  • Do the required reading or assignments – you'll get more out lectures if you're prepared and up to speed
  • Organize your work space: clean up your desktops (the real life one and the one on your computer), make sure your study area is uncluttered, create computer files that will allow you to access important information easily
  • Book an appointment with the academic services centre at your college or university for extra help if you need it (like Durham College's Learning Skills Services or Centennial College's Career and Counselling Centre

During

  • Be on time!
  • Attend all your classes
  • Sit in a place where you can see and/or hear what's going on (depending on your learning style, one sense is more important than the other!)
  • Use your laptop or tablet for taking notes—not playing Candy Crush or posting selfies

After

  • Review, organize and clarify the notes you took during class while it's still fresh in your mind
  • Visit your professor during his or her office hours with any questions
  • Create a schedule to study or work on assignments

In case of organization emergency: The best laid plans can go off the rails when you are busy and overwhelmed, so don't beat yourself up if you're not always the model of organization. If you don't have the time to keep on top of clutter, temporarily file it in a plastic tub or bag (but keep it temporary, meaning: no longer than a few weeks!). That way, you can deal with it when your life has calmed down a bit and the mess won't infiltrate the other areas of your life! More organizing resources: Durham College provides some great tips about how to organize yourself at every stage of the school year.