Organization. That thing everyone does the first week of January but then it slowly dwindles as the year progresses. Most people know that it’s beneficial to stay organized, but do they know where to start? There are multiple methods and levels of organization. Personally, I have found an approach that segments life’s obstacles into slightly neater bundles: time, tasks, and space.
If you are like me, you may have missed an event or deadline in the past simply because you forgot about it. It’s extremely easy for our busy lives to overwhelm our ability to remember everything. Organizing time is about getting everything into one place and writing everything down. Choose a calendar app or planner of your choice that will be your “Master Schedule.” The “time blocking” method chunks out sections of your day devoted to the various events and responsibilities you need to attend to. Suppose you have a dinner from 8pm to 10pm. Rather than just writing “dinner 8-10,” reserve that section of your day by blocking it out. For important presentations, reserve a block of time each day for you to undistractedly work on it. This may seem tedious and a fairly strict way to manage time, but this will also allow you to reserve some free time.
Now, straightening out your tasks is about prioritization. Establish which tasks need to be done ASAP and which are those you can push to the back burner. There are a multitude of lists and matrices that can help you determine which tasks are those that need immediate attention. Personally, I enjoy the Eisenhower Matrix. The Eisenhower Matrix is composed of two intersecting lines: the horizontal axis is how “Important” a task is and the vertical axis is how “Urgent” it is. As jobs are completed, they get crossed off the matrix. When they become more relevant, they move up the axis. Dividing your various responsibilities in this grid style not only allows the user to see what needs to be done ASAP, but also what is going to become more important or urgent in the future.
Space can be the most obvious area for organization, and there are many ways to tackle it. Some methods prefer room-by-room cleaning or even organization by chronological order (out with the old, in with the new!). Many people are familiar with the Konmari method, made popular by the book and Netflix series by Marie Kondo. It emphasizes decluttering by category, as opposed to by location. There is no one way to tidy your area. Rather, it’s what works best for you. The most important thing to keep in mind: you can’t do it all in one day, you may need to change up your methods, and create a system so you don’t become unorganized.
Organization is a very long process that can be extremely frustrating. If these methods don’t appeal to you, do some research and find ones that work for you or create your own. Once you begin to feel organized, the benefits will far outweigh the struggle of getting there.