One of the most important parts of being a successful reviser is organisation. If you can't find your notes or pens then you know you're not onto a great start, so get your booties into shape because your life could be at stake if you don't get your desired results in your tests! So it's time you got yourself a little notebook and pen and started taking some notes...
Now to be organised isn't the same with everyone. Some like sticking post-it notes on the wall with reminders whilst others see that as mind-boggling and confusing. So first tip to note down is - find a method that works for you.
Plan the day ahead| The only way to avoid procrastinating is to plan against it. Create timetable of some sort to jot what you have to do in preparation for an exam or to revise. Now this is where 'preferred methods' differ.
I personally create a large A3 poster of what is to be completed for the coming weeks. Rather than setting hourly organised time slots where I have to complete something (which may work for some), I leave the times up to me to carry out. That way I'm not pressurised into having to do that duty at that time. It also considers anything that might come up. If you scheduled to do homework at 7 and dinner ran over then that eats away at the set time you've allocated for the homework which will in turn eat away at the next time slotted activity. So take these things into consideration if using the time-slot method.
Another method is to make daily 'to do lists' and create a tick box to complete in the day. If you have three things that you've intended to do then you have all day to carry it out. Placing duties in an importance rank can also help systematically show the things that need to be done first.
Other ideas could be to set hourly alarms on your phone to signal when something needs to be done. Keep post it notes around the house if it helps to trigger your memory.
Remember to allocate breaks at regular intervals.| There's no point of bulk revising because sometimes your brain can't take in too much information at once. I've been told the brain works on 20 minute intervals. So taking that into consideration it's sensible to revise for 20 minutes then take a light ten minute break then resume again. Then after perhaps two hours take a full half hour break to eat some lunch, take a loo break or just look over what you've done so it goes into your head. Taking hourly breaks that last an hour gets you no where. It's more practical to allocate time wisely. If you want to watch a soap at 7-30pm then get your work done before then etc.
Since you have your stationery fix| from the previous post, it's nice if its organised in such a manner that it's at hands reach and there for when you need it. You don't need a fancy pencil pot, I place my pens in a nice looking tea bag tin that wasn't being used. That way my pens look nice all colourful on my desk whilst I'm revising and I can highlight and outline any notes I need to.
Timing is key.| Along with organising a rota/ timetable, it's crucial to have a figure the timings out. If you're going to bed at 3am in the morning and waking up at 4pm then you've got yourself in a bad pickle. a) because exams tend to be in the morning so you'll be sleepy and tired and b) without a systematic timing system a timetable fails and you fall off track. Be strict with yourself! Set numerous alarms to wake yourself up with enough extra time to eat a hearty breakfast, get dressed and pack your bag with the equipment needed for the day ahead.
Hope the tips help get your lives organised into shape. If you missed the first post in the series then click here for the stationery low down. Next post will be on executing the workload so keep your eyes peeled on ways to stay on top of things!