How to be organised from the most unorganised person you’ll ever meet: a guide.
Hey! I am Emily, the Customer Relationship Manager of UCOMMS and I am in a toxic relationship with organisation. I love all kinds of planners and lists, but actually following through with everything I create is where I fail.
But even with my toxic relationship, I would like to present you with 5 top tips on staying on top of your busy life.
1. Create a to-do list in order of importance.
For me personally, I love to complete my smallest, least important tasks first – this is my own little way to procrastinate. However, when I group tasks I need to complete in order of importance (e.g. the assessment that is due tomorrow is more of higher importance than my ironing), I know what must come first and I try to start there. An example to group your tasks in order of importance could be:
a) Super Important – Do these First:
b) Still need to do these:
c) Chill, these can wait a tiny bit:
2. Write everything you find important down!
Even the people with the most amazing memories forget things. If you don’t want to forget something, you need to write it down. In addition to this, trying to remember things will not help you stay organised, you will only make your life harder by trying to remember everything in your head. For example, every time I go to the supermarket without a shopping list, I forget at least 2 things I was meant to buy.
So, if you have something due, write a reminder in your phone or calendar. If you have an important date, write it in your calendar. Nothing is worse than forgetting a loved one’s birthday or realising you have an assessment due in one day that you haven’t started!
3. Make backups of everything!
Picture this: first year, first semester, Emily loses 3 of her assessments in a week because she thought she had saved her stuff to the cloud. Turns out her cloud wasn’t turned on.
In that week, I was a mess. I had never lost a document before, let alone 3. Because of this experience, I back up my computer contents to a hard drive weekly (probably not enough in the weeks when I have more than one assessment due). This is to ensure I have a copy of all my documents, and if for some reason, I decided to drop a coffee on my computer, I don’t have to start everything again.
Losing documents and having to restart all the time is not helping you stay organised. Backing everything up may take some time, but in the end, it’s usually better to be safe than sorry!
4. Don’t Procrastinate!
Isn’t this the easiest thing to say, the hardest thing to do? Even with all of these tips I still procrastinate all the time. So to help you, as well as me, here are some tips to reduce procrastination:
a) Identify what is stopping you from getting started – by identifying the cause, you can work out a way to help you get started
b) Break it down – sometimes we procrastinate because the task seems too big and daunting. Break big tasks down into sections and this should make the task feel less intimidating
c) Understand the significance of the task – thinking of the reason why you should be completing said task can help with motivation to complete it
d) Promise yourself a reward for completing tasks – giving yourself an incentive can help boost motivation. Be sure not to reward yourself early though!
e) Block out distractions! – if you are distracted by Facebook, close the browser. If there are loud, annoying noises around you, find somewhere quiet and peaceful to complete your work.
f) Use the 2-minute rule – if it takes less than 2 minutes to complete the task, do it now! There is no reason to hold off any longer. The longer you wait to do something, the harder it will be to get it done.
5. Ensure you take breaks
It’s a lot harder to stay organised when you burn yourself out by continually working. There are many benefits to taking breaks whilst studying.
The popular tip to break-taking is to do so once every hour. By allowing your brain to take a rest for a few minutes, you are allowing yourself to increase your concentration and productivity levels as well as reducing your mental fatigue. Taking regular breaks will also help you make better decisions while working and assist you in getting tasks completed sooner. So please, take breaks and don’t tire yourself out.
That’s pretty much all I have to say about organisation, I think. Just remember, even though I have written this whole post, I still have a toxic relationship with organisation and I will rarely get all of my tasks completed, so please don’t think you are a failure if you are unable to complete all of your tasks.