Self-Organization: Return to School VII: Study Skills 2

Returning to School VII

by Owen Fourie

Study Skills: Part Two

Organization and Way of Life

In an ordered third-dimensional world, we encounter particular ways of doing things, systems, and organization. Studying is accomplished more easily if you have organized yourself to deal with the subject matter.

Previously, we noted that it is necessary to find out how to approach each course of study. It is also important to know yourself, to know how your brain is wired, to discover your particular learning method, and to develop your personal system. Being interested in the subject helps you to be successful in it.

Being organized and ordering your way of life to your advantage are also essential prerequisites for success in your studies.

Be organized

  • Use tools: a laptop and/or paper notebooks and folders.
  • Keep a journal/a diary/a planner/a timetable—call it what you will, but have some means of knowing what to expect and what to do daily, weekly, monthly.
  • Know your deadlines for assignments.
  • Know how much material has to be covered and how much time you have available.
  • Plan, accordingly, to cover the material in the time given. Use the tabulated example for reading a book given in an earlier article to get an idea of how to do this.
  • Get an overview of each subject. Survey it to know where you are going and to get a perspective. Know what a text contains by skimming through it before getting into the details.
  • Prioritize your work: this is what I must know; this is useful to know; this is nice to know but not crucial. This should be gleaned from the teacher’s or lecturer’s direct information and emphasis.
  • Have a specific and dedicated place that you will associate with your studies.
  • Have particular times that will be reserved only for studying.

Watch your way of life

  • Studying is not only a mental exercise. You need to keep your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies in a harmonious balance and working together to focus on your studies.
  • Eat nourishing food; drink a lot of water; get fresh air and physical exercise.
  • Get adequate sleep.
  • Take plenty of time to be alone and quiet in order to think.
  • Beware of a life of constant activity that robs you of such time and simply locks you in a system that buries your individuality and does not want you to be free.
  • Breathe deeply and relax.
  • Listen to and move to your choice of music.
  • Beware of a life that keeps you from activity and causes you to be out of touch.

What is necessary in the actual work of studying? We’ll look at this in the next post.


If you have other practical points for organization and for ordering your way of life as a student, please mention them here. Your comments, observations, and questions are welcome.

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