Planning and organizing, while it’s something I strive in, has not been exactly easy for me. It’s taken me time to understand what exactly what I need to do to be productive and stay on top of my daily, weekly and monthly goals. Try to remember when planning to not get too caught up in expecting life to be planned: life is spontaneous and crazy and you need to remember to live in the moment! Below are some (basic) tips on how to stay organized and to make sure that while you may enjoy living in the moment, you can live in the organized moment.
- Goal Planning: At the beginning of every day, week, month and year I like to make a list of what needs to be done. Each day I write down what my plans are and what needs to be done. Each week I make a list of what papers need to be done, when I’m working and if/when I’m going out with friends. Every month and year I write a general list of what trips are coming up, what classes I’m taking, what birthdays are being celebrated and all other general concepts. Make sure that you always have an up-to-date list on what goals need to be done, whether that’s an assignment or simply grocery shopping.
- Breaking Down Your Goals: Once you know what your goals are, break down how you’re going to reach it. If you have a 2000 word paper due on Thursday then break down how much research goes in each day and how many words need to be written in order to complete the assignment. This will help plan out the next course of action. If you’re planning trips then make sure you break down when your passport needs to be up-to-date, when the tickets need to be printed and how much money needs to be brought. Once the goal is broken down into simplistic terms will it seem more doable.
- Bigger Picture: I know big tasks are daughting. You get overwhelmed and then put them off. But don’t do that! That leads to more stress. Whether it’s a work goal, a school goal or a personal goal you can get it done without stressing too much. Each month write down when it needs to be completed and then make little progress goals throughout the month to keep on top of it!
- Don’t Be Too Rigid: Make sure you know that sometimes the plan doesn’t always happen the way you hope. Sometimes people bail or information changes. Be okay with this! Roll with it. Sometimes the best inspiration happens when the plans don’t go your way.
- Turn Off Electronics: Yes you may need your laptop but turn your phone off (or at least on silent). Block Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and Netflix from your laptop. Electronics, while always useful, are also the way you can get distracted. We’ve all watched Netflix for too long and the remembered that we actually have things we need to accomplish. It happens, that’s okay, but acknowledge it and get back to the goal!