I recently found myself becoming the master of organisation and overhaul when I realised I could not find an important document for an assessment I was working on. I checked every item and folder on my desk, and by the time I found the document, my study area looked like a hurricane had hit it.
I decided to start from scratch and re-organise the whole thing. Here are the pearls of wisdom I gained from the experience…
1. Choose the right study spot
Where you choose to study could mean the difference between a productive session and major procrastination. You want to set up shop where you won’t be disturbed, but try to avoid designating your room as the study zone – you want your bedroom to be associated with relaxation, not work and study. If there are no other options, try to set up a desk or table so you aren’t studying on your bed and be tempted to take a nap.
Make sure your study area has plenty of light (both natural and artificial). I also like to have a window nearby, so that a breeze will come through as I work, and I can almost trick myself into thinking I am outside, and not being a complete hermit (especially important during times of high stress, like SWOT VAC).
2. Clear your study space
A cluttered desk means a cluttered mind… or so they say. Clear everything off your desk, except what you are currently working on. To avoid confusion, bundle papers and books for each subject together. Remove any loose papers from you desk and if you haven’t already, get some folders (one for each subject) to put these papers in.
3. Colour code everything!
To make sure you’re never scrambling for a piece of paper again, assign a colour to each subject and make sure that any folders or exercise books you have for that subject are the same colour. It sounds pedantic, but it will save you so much time when you’re looking for notes from a particular class.
4. Store all the things!
Now that everything is colour-coded and in the right folders, find a spot to store all of your books and folders. Remember, your desk should be cleared of everything except what you are working on at the time, so get a bookshelf and use it. A filing cabinet can be a great way to store old notes and case printouts, and get a penholder or two for your desk. This means it’s probably time to head to Officeworks (a.k.a. a law student’s heaven), and let’s face it: it’s a great excuse to splurge on some office needs, and maybe pick up some nice new stationery while you’re at it.
Enjoyed this post? Sign up for the Survive Law weekly newsletter for more.