Hello, painters, and welcome to another Tuesday post!
Since the new semester is starting so heavily already and I’m currently up to my neck in assignments (I have six different work groups… SIX! I can’t even remember which colleagues are with me in each one most of the time!), tests and exams, I thought we should talk a bit about organization! I hope you like this subject, since it’s one of my few fields of expertise 😉
Confession time: I’m naturally a really organized person. And I know that, for academic work like the one we do in college, this is a great quality. After all, I actually enjoy organizing my assignments, tasks, study time, etc., and that organization allows me to get more work done. I also know that this level of organization doesn’t come easily to most people.
But here’s the thing: it’s not easy for me either! I do have more motivation to get it done, though, since I enjoy it – however, do not kid yourself, organization is never effortless! The key to being organized is making it a habit. For instance, I have a daily planner and I’ve made a habit of, every night, writing down that day’s expenses and the next day’s schedule and plans on it. It helps me to have all of the next day’s plans fresh in my head and keep track of my expenses.
Of course, this is only one example – and that leads me to the next thing I want to talk about: there are a thousand ways to get organized and you should choose the one that makes sense for you! To list some options, I would start with daily, weekly or monthly planners; tabletop calendars, schedules or to do lists; small notebooks (this one is good if you normally feel like the planner templates, meaning, the way the pages are organized, are too restrictive for you); even smartphone apps (and for this one I would recommend “My Study Life”, it’s quite complete and very helpful, not to mention its great design)! You just have to try out a few different methods to see what works best for you – or even combine a few, like I do (but then again, I have to do lists in every single thing that I own, so maybe don’t go as overboard as me).
To inspire you to get started, I’m going to share a new idea that I came up with! It’s a physical task board and it’s great for people who are more visual and need their information organized less as a list (as typical “to do” lists or schedules) and more as areas. It’s also helpful for people who have different areas of their life where they need to get some work done, and would prefer to separate their tasks according to that.
The process of making it was very easy as well! I just used an old cork board, an A3-sized blank sheet of paper, a printer and some colored post-its! I cut the A3 paper to fit the cork board and glued it down with tiny pieces of Patafix. Then I figured out the layout I wanted and designed the colored arrows with the areas of my life written on them. I used Word’s SmartArt – it worked wonderfully, exactly how I wanted them. I cut and glued the arrows to the A3 paper and then used adhesive paper to protect them and make them stay there for good 😉 And then I just wrote what I wanted to remember on post-its. I also added a small clip with Patafix to the top, to keep other important papers in reach.
Simple, isn’t it? The tricky part, though, is… keeping it organized! Make it a habit and it will stick, I promise!