I consider myself a very organised person, whenever I am applying for a job I always use my organisational skills as a positive attribute and I feel that most of my past and present employers can vouch for that. I love being organised, it helps my mind, it keeps me satisfied and sadly enough, it makes me happy! If there are things that could be organised in my life, trust me, they are. For example, I own a handbag organiser – the satisfaction of unzipping my handbag and seeing all my bits and bobs residing in their specific pockets, just the thought gives me a rush! Just kidding, but also not kidding…
At times it can be a little overwhelming for me if there are some things that I can’t organise in my life, I have slowly learnt that not everything in the world can be compartmentalised…on the bright side it’s almost 2017, it’s nearly time to update my Filofax! Over the years I think I have perfected the art of organisation and it has really benefited me during uni, especially in my assignments. Every assignment I have ever had has been handed in at least one week before the deadline, I’m not one for leaving work till the last minute anyway but being organised certainly helps!
Here are some tips for being organised with assignments:
I have mentioned this in a post before however, I am going to say it again because this is a big help to me, print out the academic HE calendar and put it somewhere you can see it every day. The calendar shows week by week where we are in the academic year, this is really useful because you can pencil in the weeks that have key dates in them. That way you can visually see how many weeks you have left till DEADLINES! As you can see I highlight off the weeks that have passed so I can keep track easier and I have done this every single academic year.
The second thing I would suggest is going through your assignment remit and giving the whole thing a good read, if there are words you don’t understand I usually refer to the academic skills centre leaflet on assignment words and their meanings. You can find this on the academic skills centre section of the UCB Portal under “Can I download the ASC Leaflets?” there are loads of leaflets on there. Once I have checked that I take the learning outcomes and rewrite them in my own words, I will keep this as a reference throughout my research and further planning. Sometime I even write them on the actual document when I’m typing it up, this will just ensure I keep on the right track and don’t start waffling…bit like I am right now.
Another thing I would strongly suggest is when you start your research go through each lecture PowerPoint on UCB Online and take notes, the majority of the time each lecture will feed into your assignment in some way. I know we aren’t all angels with 100% attendance so I would really recommend going through any lectures online you have missed. After I will make a mind map with the assignment in the middle and the general topic from each lecture stemming out, eventually after further research you will find that you can add to the mind map under each lecture and this will pad out the assignment also making sure you have covered all areas. This doesn’t mean I am saying leave the assignment till the very last lecture, no!! Make it a weekly thing so you stay on top of it and then I will wait till the penultimate week to pull the assignment all together, that bit’s the easy bit – you’ll have already done all the leg work!
Lastly, I recommend going through the reading list and getting the books out early!! The reading list is great, it’s like clues from your lecturers as to where to find the answers however, if you leave it to the last minute I can guarantee you that the books you need will be all checked out, you’ll be left with the reference-only book and you’ll have to live your final weeks of semester in the library like a hobbit. Why do that when you could be doing your assignments from the comfort of your own home with your tea and oreos.
Hope this helps, gosh I have said organising a lot in this post!