While I am a disorganised mess 45% of the time I like to think that I have learnt a thing or two on how to stay organised. Here are six steps that have helped me get more organised (although I am still learning) hopefully this can help you out as well.
1. Write Everything Down
When I say this I don’t mean, write everything down ‘in a minute’ or ‘later’ I mean RIGHT NOW. The key to making sure you remember appointments, meetings, due dates or anything else is to write it down the minute you know. As soon as you’ve booked your appointment write it down. The moment you know when your meeting starts write it down. When your teacher tells you when the assignments due right it down. Writing it down right then and there doesn’t give you a chance to forget and end up being late for that meeting or forgetting your appointment.
2. Keep a daily planner
Whether it be an app on your phone or the cute planner you saw in Kiki.K it doesn’t matter as long as you know where it is. It’s all good and well having a planner or app but if you never use it there’s no point. Always make sure you’re constantly checking your app or your planner, keeping everything up to date. By making sure you know what you have to do and where you need to be.
3. Know your habits
If you spend an extra 20 minutes on your phone in the morning set your alarm 20 minutes earlier. If you need an hour of downtime after school before you can focus on homework schedule that in. You need to be able to know your habits, what normally happens and then find ways around it. e.g. if you have a big job interview you HAVE to be on time for but know that you always hit that snooze button at least twice before you can even open your eyes, set your alarm 30 minutes earlier. That means you can still hit the snooze button and still be on time. If you’re able to analyse your habits and the things your body and mind tend to do naturally then you can find ways around them and create new habits. i.e. If you procrastinate (guilty!) doing your work then try and get rid of all your distractions and focus on the task at hand. Teach your mind and body better habits to help you stay on top of your workload.
4. To-Do-Lists are your best friend
If you’ve been given a huge assignment or work load that seems daunting break it up into little tasks. Write out everything thing you need to do in order to complete the entire task; cross each job off as you go. This will help to make the work load seem a bit smaller and also make you feel like your achieving something. Instead of working hard for hours and feeling like you’ve done nothing.
5. Manage your time
If you get given an assignment four weeks in advance don’t stay up late the night before it’s due to finish it. The moment you’re given an assignment with a due date write it down; then write a plan. Four weeks may seem like a long time but if you keep putting the task off suddenly what may be a simple assignment can turn into an absolute nightmare. Once you know the due date look at the weeks leading up to it, do you have anything else on? Any other assignments due? If so when and how will you work around them? Write out how you will finish the assignment, what nights you’ll do what in order to get it done. It seems methodical and control-freak-y I know, maybe even a tad unrealistic. But, if you manage to write out a plan and stick to it, you might finish before the due date. This step is definitely a hard one to implement and might take some time to get used to. I definitely don’t do this all the time, but I’m working on it!
6. Stay motivated
A common misconception is thinking that you need a deadline to keep you going. That the only reason you accomplish anything is because it’s due the next day. While this may appear true for you the cold truth is that is simply an excuse for laziness and procrastination. No matter how far away the due date may seem it’s important to get started on the project as soon as you’ve been given it. I’m not talking finishing the entire thing the night you were assigned it, but maybe at least read the assignment. Pace yourself. Work out how much you need to do each night to get it done before the due date without any stress.