It is 9:30 a.m. You have class in 10 minutes and there might be a pop quiz. In just 10 minutes, you have to Febreze your clothes because you did not realize your entire wardrobe was dirty, and you have no idea where your notebook is. Stop, there is hope for regaining your sanity and improving your time management skills.
“The frustrations you experience trying to get organized are not the result of some innate inability,” writes Julie Morgenstern, author of Organizing from the Inside Out. “I contend they are due to your never having learned how to organize.”
Kind of makes sense, doesn’t it? What else would elicit such frustration other than something a person does not know how to do? In her book, Morgenstern thoroughly evaluates your current level of organization and helps teach you to construct the perfectly tailored system. She also lists some interesting misconceptions about organization.
1.) MYTH: Like I said, it is not a mysterious talent.
FACT: It is a learned skill, like tying your shoes. Only now, you are to old to realize that you just have to calm down, and learn it.
2.) MYTH: Getting organized is a hopeless chore.
FACT: It is not. All you need to do is design predictable systems that you do not even have to think about. Make filing, or note taking the same process every time.
3.) MYTH: It is impossible to stay organized.
FACT: Organizing is sustainable if it is organized around the way you think. It is when your system is a bad fit for you that its maintenance becomes a chore.
Morgenstern’s book looks at everything from your psychology to your physical environment in order to evaluate what you need to do to get organized.
Another good idea to keep you organized is getting an organizer or daily planner. At the beginning of every semester take all of the information on your syllabi, test dates, readings that are due and what not, and fill out an entire semesters worth of the calendar. Do it in pencil, though, because syllabi are not written in concrete. That way you can flip through your organized planner and see what is coming up and what you need to prepare for.
In her book, Morgenstern has some great suggestions for organizers: