Block 3 - Get organized


Up until now, we have put the emphasis on you as an individual having needs and motivations. However, even with perfect knowledge of one’s strengths, the best learners may end up wasting their time, motivation, and energy if they are not properly organized.

Good organization is vital to being successful in your studies.

The immediate environment in which you work can have an impact on your organization and, therefore, on your performance. This is why it is important to work in surroundings that are pleasant, whether it be a question of lighting or the layout of the room. You should be able to easily access your material as well.


Theoretical notions

Learning strategies and work methods

The most common difficulties students have are related to their level of organization. Some examples follow:

  • Difficulty in establishing a study schedule that fits with their work week.
  • Difficulty in meeting deadlines for submitting assignments.
  • Difficulty in reading effectively with the objective of obtaining an overall understanding of a text.
  • Difficulty in taking notes on the assigned readings.
  • Difficulty in preparing for an exam.


It is essential that you arrange your schedule so that you have time to devote to your studies. Establishing a schedule means adequately managing one’s time. This will help you to improve your performance, because you will have an approach adapted to your specific situation.

To help you in planning your time allocation, take a look at the hours that you devote each week to each of the various categories of activity. There are 168 hours in a week. If you exceed 168 when adding up your hours, redo your calculations.

Now compile the hours devoted to each of the categories of activities as follows:

1. School work hours
2.Work hours
3.Sleep hours
4.Meals and personal care hours
5. Leisure, travel time, and other activities hours
Total hours


There are specific techniques that will help you to read more effectively and, in so doing, help you to maintain your levels of concentration and attention. Writing out a short summary of each section as you read may help you to remember the main ideas. Using a highlighter to emphasise certain points is another effective strategy for getting the most out of your reading experience.


Taking notes helps to bring out certain points of the subject matter you are studying or to summarize the information. It develops your memory and maintains your focus and attention. It is also a useful reminder for distance education courses. When you take notes with the learning material at hand, you can start studying to prepare for assignments and the final exam. How should you take notes? Write in the margins of your course texts and documents. Use Post-it Notes notes as required. In the end, taking notes allows you to better assimilate the subject matter.

The following document presents a number of tricks that will help you to take notes more effectively:

Memory and concentration

It is important to know that stress, memory, and concentration all go hand-in-hand. The more stressed out you are, the more you risk forgetting certain things and losing your focus.

Memory is the faculty to register, save, and re-use information. It is often compared to the hard drive on your computer . . . On the other hand, concentration is the ability to focus your attention on one subject or one assignment for an extended period of time without getting distracted. High-performance concentration is active and dynamic: it requires a degree of effort and practice to be effective.


Video capsule

Video capsule: "Get organized"


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