With the start of a new year, there’s a sense of excitement. There’s a million ideas and goals floating around. After the initial excitement and urgency wears off, reality sets in: if you’re not organized, all of your resolutions will be failed and forgotten before January even ends.
There are some people who organization comes naturally to, I am not one of them. Despite my best efforts, my tiny dorm room quickly becomes cluttered and papers start to disappear. However, this disorganization has gotten me to invest in some fool-proof ways to get and stay organized throughout the year:
- Invest in a good planner. I love Google Calendar as much as the next person, but I do find that when I write things physically down, I am more reasonable about my commitments and time. I also am obsessed with my planner and adding stickers to my monthly calendars– the pretty aesthetic really gets me to stick with it.
- Write everything down 3 times. Repetition, repetition, repetition. It works. I keep three calendars, write down all my goals 3 times, and set 3 alarms. By the third time, it is ingrained in my head and I am ready to face the task, piece by piece.
- Buy everything you need before you start a task. At the beginning of the your task, make sure you have all the materials you need. There is nothing worse than looking at your next step and realizing you have none of what you need to do it. Your productivity plummets as you recognize you have an additional step now to achieving your goals. Avoid this problem– buy all your materials in advance. For me, I buy all of my pens, highlighters, books, and notebooks before classes really start up.
- Prioritize your to do list. Life piles up and it’s easy to think everything is urgent– it gets overwhelming. Make a to-do list with three sections: high, medium, low. High priority items are ones that must be done by tomorrow, medium is within 2-3 days, and low is non-urgent. I also often will make an event section of my to-do list, so that I am reminded of my time commitment and make a reasonable schedule for myself.
- Work with others, when possible. When you make commitments to others, you are more likely to stick with it. Make plans to study with a friend, workout with a buddy. Staying organized is so much easier when someone else keeps you accountable– use your support system to help you be the best version of yourself.
I hope these tips help you with all your goals and share your goals so we can work together to achieve success.