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What are some study skills or daily habits that really helped you stay organized in college or a busy work life?

I am planning to attend college in a few months. I currently balance my work, school, and social life pretty well but I understand college life will be very different. I would like to know some helpful study and organizational tips people may have developed over time in order to work as efficiently and effectively as possible.

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10 answers:

Hi Britanie.

Here are some ideas: Keep in mind, the more committed you are to doing well, the better your results.

Reading: write down information as you're reading. Help retain information. Read out loud when you're tired. Record this and play back when you're doing housework or cleaning. Identify sharpest students in class and get into a study group with them. Allow enough time: don't cram last minute. Be disciplined. Admit when you need help and get help right away. Don't procrastinate: the day a big project is assigned, break it into bite-sized chunks and get started! Take advantage of your professor's office hours. Sit in front of class to be engaged, especially in subjects you don't like. Use a calendar to ensure tests and assignments are completed on time. Use Khan Academy and TED talks: there are lots of subjects discussed in video format. Become a tutor - when you can teach it, you understand it so much more! Some mastery required! Being engaged in class - ask the professor if you can help with anything.

Hope these help! And you may need to experiment with what works for you.


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One key that I have found regarding organization is to create a daily list of 'To Do' items - I had previously used a planner but opt now to use my phone. It is best to be as general as possible when creating a daily list and then try to prioritize the tasks - move them up or down as appropriate. I use my calendar now as it allows me to create not only task-specific lists, but also time-specific lists.


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Take advantage and maximize your free time. The great thing about college is even though the workload is harder and there is a lot more going on, there is a lot more free time - if you manage it well. Don't be afraid of early classes. When I was in college, i packed all of my classes in the morning. It was tough to get up sometimes but i could get all of my work done mid-day when everyone else was in class. Then evenings and nights were free for social activities. Also, regardless of when your classes are, take advantage of the free time between classes. Even if its only 50 minutes, use that time wisely. Many people fall into the trap of taking a nap, watching TV or something else to pass the time. Stop at the library to get resources, meet with a professor during their office hours, or schedule time at the writing center. Use that time wisely and it will pay dividends.

Also, I cannot emphasis enough the importance of utilizing the college writing center and professors office hours.


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Be aware of your best ways to retain information. It's common nowadays to take laptops right in the classroom and type away taking notes or even using recorders. Some students will just keep those notes or recordings and reuse them when it's test time. But many students and even those of us in the working world, find that transcribing your notes again after the class is a positive way to reinforce what you heard in the lecture or classroom. It also enables you to perhaps catch something you may not understand, but hurriedly typed down or just passed over listening in the class. As other noted, in taking advantage of professors or TA's hours, those gaps in your notes can be a good talking point to discuss lessons and assure you are grasping the key points for the course. You can use the notes and findings too if you are in a study group. Doing this, your aren't realizing you have gaps one day before a test.

I was also one of those, who if I could, took morning classes if available and tried to see if I could finish me classes by mid-afternoon. Not always 100% able, but it allowed me to use professor times which had a tendency to be in the afternoons and to participate in some school activities such as clubs, publications, etc. Those activities can often be a great stepping stone to future jobs and a great way to meet people.

Keep up with assignments and reading. Don't cram. As others pointed out, fill your time between classes somewhere relaxing, but do your simpler reading assignments, fine tune To Do lists, or re-read notes. Keep the information fresh and current each day. You will feel a little less stressed, more on top of your workload and find you have the time to enjoy some extracurricular activities and weekends and evenings may not be so panicked filled. Can't emphasis enough how being organized in college can make all the difference.

Good luck


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Britanie,

I think it's awesome that you are being proactive and preparing for your first year of college. I believe you are well on your way to success! Weekly To-Do Lists are definitely the way to go. I used to make my list every Sunday for everything that is due that week. I would slot each assignment for a specific day and time (for instance, Economics discussion post - Monday 7-9pm, Biology assignment - Tuesday 11am-2pm, etc.), while being mindful of other commitments like work or social outings. Doing it this way helped me to not wait until the last minute and then become overwhelmed by the amount of assignments due. I would also recommend reviewing all of your syllabi prior to the start of class, when possible. As you go through each syllabus, make sure you take note of all assignments, their due dates and what is required. Anything that you can do ahead of time, do it. This will help you manage your time for assignments/projects that are more time consuming.

Hope this helps and good luck to you!


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Do what makes you happy first! If you knock out one item from your list, you'll have the energy and enthusiasm to keep going. Sometimes we get stuck on an item on our to-do list because it's not something we really want to do, instead of procrastinating on that item move on to a different item that motivates you. Less time wasted!

Also know where to spend your time, not everything needs to be 100% all of the time. As I've gained more experience, I've learned not to spend hours on every project I need to get done. Some projects/tasks are more important than others and balancing the amount of time required depending on the importance of the project/task has helped me get more done.


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Great question, but you've found out the best tip of all- balance! Experience college and enjoy it, but make time for your priorities and purpose. You may need to create a schedule to keep track of how much time you spend on achool, work, and your social life, but ultimately, the best advice is knowing yourself- your strengths and weaknesses. If you know you don't study too well with noise, don't go to the library or dining hall to study. If you like studying in groups, seek group study groups, or create your own with classmates from your courses! Knowing is the best tip to survive the transition into college.


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Hi!

You asked a great question. Here are some interesting answers:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/235427 https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/side-side/201003/how-keep-your-life-in-balance-using-sweep http://psychcentral.com/lib/finding-and-keeping-a-healthy-life-balance/

Best of luck Hope this helps!


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Hi,

Thank you for your query.

Few things I would focused on during my college days are as below:

  1. I had a To-Do-List for my day to day activities. I had scheduled time lines for my bath, eat, travel, etc. (I still follow it as its become my habit)
  2. Daily/Weekly Study Schedule
  3. Assignments schedule
  4. Sports schedule (Practice/Match)
  5. Commitment not to procrastinate and follow schedules to the T.

So based on the above points, you need to chalk out a schedule for everything you do daily not just study and sports but day to day activities which would help in better time management and also keeping things organized. Everything has to be time based and scheduled. Make it a habit and follow it religiously. Calendarize everything and anyways today's technology (mobiles, watches, etc.) are a big help in keeping up with your schedules. Follow some tips in the below link as a reference: http://www.rasmussen.edu/student-life/blogs/college-life/the-tops-10-must-know-study-tips-for-busy-college-students/

But beyond all this.. I would still say enjoy College..But enjoy it with discipline in life.

All the very best.


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I've found that sometimes music helps me focus at work or while studying so I find what works best and keep it handy. Typically if I need to read I can't have songs with lyrics or I want to sing along, so I find instrumental or classical music. I also found that studying in silence wasn't for me but the din of a pizza shop or something similar worked well because it was more of a background or white noise. If I'm just reading I always enjoyed being outdoors so that's an option too :)


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