3 easy organization steps every person can take to make sure their day runs smoothly.
By Katlynd Poulton
As a student, your life probably gets a bit hectic at times while trying to manage your school work, hold down a part-time job and have a social life or raise a family. Statistics Canada suggests that the vast majority of students begin post-secondary education in their late teens or early twenties but older adults also represent a significant portion of the student population. Students that attend college or university straight out of high school can expect a significant change in their lifestyle. College and University for one, is a very pricey endeavor; not only are you expected to pay tuition, but there are additional expenses such as text books, transportation and even parking.
For students trying to manage all of these elements on their own, it can be a challenge to stay organized 100% of the time. Having a daily organization routine can help – following a few steps every day to ensure you're organized and prepared can be a real asset to anyone, not just students! If you follow these 3 steps every day, you will maintain a more organized lifestyle.
Make Decisions Ahead of Time
Do you ever wake up in the morning and realize you've already wasted 10-15 minutes of your time trying to put together something to wear? When you're about to leave the house, do you suddenly remember you haven't packed a lunch or printed off that project that's due at the start of class? What about that darn email you were supposed to read that had important information you needed? Some of these things don't even seem like a big deal, until your pinched for time! I can without a doubt say that all of these things have happened to me more than once! Avoiding these situations is easy – plan ahead! Before you head to bed the night before, pick out some clothes and have them ready for the morning. Make a check list for yourself and keep it nearby so that you're sure you've completed things that needed to get done. Don't stare at the fridge at 7:00 AM wishing it would make you a lunch, prepare something for yourself the night before when you're also making dinner. It is best if you anticipate things before they need to get done. When you're busy all of the time, it is very important that you can “Grab & Go!" – eliminate scrambling and becoming frustrated at the last minute and just plan ahead!
Use Check Lists
I use check lists every day – sometimes more than one. Every morning when I get to work I write a check list of the things that I know I want to accomplish and I cross the tasks off as soon as they're complete. I also make check lists for things I need to do outside of school and work – groceries, laundry, social outings, etc. I find that if I don't do this that I don't complete everything I had set out to do because I usually forget something once the list gets longer. Personally, I use Post-It notes to remind myself of the things I need to do because I can stick them places that I know I will see. With the technology available to us today, many people may choose to use mobile apps, social media or a number or other tools to create a checklist... but personally I prefer the old school way of using hard copies.
Keep It Together
If you're working on a project at school or work, keep all of your records and work together. Don't keep files saved in multiple places or under random file names - keep it all organized and easily accessible. If you're working on something that has multiple moving parts, use a binder or filing organizer to keep each step together, in sequence so that it is easily referable. You will find it is much simpler to accomplish your tasks if you use tools to help yourself. Also, always keep a pen and paper handy - if someone makes a suggestion or you think of something off of the top of your head - you wont forget it if you write it down!
Staying organized is not an easy task and it is easy to fall out of a routine, but if you can effectively utilize these tips you will find it will make life just a little bit easier on a daily basis. Reducing your stress levels will help you lead a healthier and happier life... not to mention a more organized one, too!