Getting organised

Learning and working style

Reflect on how you work best and take charge of your learning
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Organisation and Time Management

Develop routines that can make you more productive and less likely to procrastinate
To do list on phone and a watch
Top Tips
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Know yourself

  • How, when and where do you study best?
  • What motivates, rewards and distracts you?

Priority Matrix

  • Put tasks into a ‘Priority Matrix’. 
  • Know the difference between 'important' and 'urgent' tasks.

Use calendars and planners

  • Colour code your week and allocate slots for studying.
  • Break big projects into smaller tasks, each with a deadline.

Try the Pomodoro method

  • Working in 25-minute bursts (with a 5-minute break in between) helps with concentration.

Use technology to help you

  • Calendars, productivity apps, reminders and to-do lists such as Drop Task and Wunderlist.
  • Get started by looking at 'No DSA software? No problem'.

Routines are more powerful than willpower

  • But they take time to establish. So get started!
Resources
Forest screenshot showing trees growing after a productive studying session

Forest

Available as a mobile app for iOS and Android and also a Chrome extension, Forest helps you put down your phone and get productive!

Screenshot of a Trello board with cards in lists

Trello

A free online tool to help you manage tasks and projects, using visual boards. Create lists with draggable cards, then add links, colour coding, checklists, reminders and more.

Screenshot of Tomatoi.st, a simple Pomodoro timer, counting down.

Tomatoi.st

A simple online Pomodoro timer, which counts down from 25 minutes, or shorter break times. Find out more about the Pomodoro technique.

Screenshot showing how OneTab extension cuts down memory use by combining open tabs in one page

OneTab

If you have lots of open tabs, OneTab extension for Chrome and Firefox will convert them into a single list, freeing up memory and speeding up your computer. Click to reopen tabs or save and export.

Screenshot of Dayboard showing five tasks to complete

Dayboard

Use this Chrome extension to select your five most important tasks. These will appear when you open a new tab to remind you.

Screenshot of Stay Focused showing site blocking options

StayFocusd

Chrome extension which helps you limit or block distracting websites.

Skills for success: The personal development planning handbook

This book will help you to think about personal, academic and career goals and to plan a path to success.

teamgantt

Teamgantt is a simple online software for creating gantt charts via drag and drop.

Tomato Timer

Free online Pomodoro timer.

Procrastination and the Pomodoro technique

YouTube video about how to beat procrastination using the Pomodoro technique

Productivity 101: A Primer to The Pomodoro Technique

Great guide to getting organised with the Pomodoro method.

Organising yourself - University of Sheffield

Interactive, audio-led guidance and information from the University of Sheffield. Learning styles, time management and memory are covered. Contains drag-and-drop practice exercises.

Focus Keeper Free

Free Pomodoro timer for iOS.

Focus Matrix – Task Manager

Free Priority Matrix app for iOS.

Footnotes VMT

Footnotes is a Visual Multilayered Thinking process developed by Oliver West.

Get focused - 13 tools to eliminate distractions today

A round-up of some of the most useful tools and apps for cutting down on distractions.

Inside the mind of a master procrastinator

TED talk by Tim Urban – inside the mind of a master procrastinator.

Drop Task

Create visual to-do lists with items grouped together by colour. Can set dates, link files, choose priority etc. Useful for group projects too.

6 things productive people do every day

Most Productive People: 6 Things They Do Every Day - tips from Eric Barker's 'Barking up the wrong tree' blog.

Getting organised

Establish a routine and prepare yourself for busy study periods