“Successful organizing is based on the recognition that people get organized because they, too, have a vision.” – Paul Wellstone
The beginning of a new school year is just around the corner. For many students, that means the end of summertime shenanigans and taking the time to refocus on their education. Some of of may have been busy with internships, experiences traveling the world or perhaps getting married.
Getting back into “reality” can be difficult, but a necessary step to move forward. As the quote by Paul Wellstone at the beginning of the article, a key to success and fulfillment of your personal vision is the principle of organization. I’ll warn you now, this is something I am passionate about, because I know that by taking the time to lay out your priorities and obligations, you can do all that you want to accomplish.
I don’t want to bore you by listing out the many things I get involved with each school semester. Suffice it to say, my wife says I have too many meetings. As I prepare myself for a career, it is hard not to get involved and to put myself out there. Many of you have the same pressure and that is why you should sit down this week and get organized! There is a lot of literature out there about this topic, but I want to give you my ideas.
Method to Your Madness
The first step to organizing your time is to find which calendaring method works best for you. Since I have my phone with me most places, I use a digital calendar. Others might prefer something on paper and that works too. It is important that you frequently take time to schedule your week and when you make an appointment, to write it down! I can’t stress this enough. The best way to look unprofessional and unhireable is to miss a meeting because you didn’t write it down. I take a few minutes every evening to sit down and make sure I have everything planned out for the following day and to update my calendar as needed.
Learn to Prioritize
H. L. Hunt, one of the wealthiest men to ever live said this, “Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work.” This is going to be different for each of you, but it’s important to determine what is most important. Whether that is time with family and friends, your studies or developing a particular skill set, understand what means the most to you.
Roll with the Punches
While writing this article, I came across this gem by Rebekah Epstein, and she made the great point that you shouldn’t “panic when things don’t go according to the plan.” Even with careful planning, life happens and sometimes throws a wrench at you. You have to learn to take spontaneity and make it work FOR you. Some of the greatest growing moments are the off the cuff, flying by the seat of your pants moments.
I know the school and work grind can be stressful, but there is no easier way to bliss than to organize your life. You will find that you have MORE time to do what YOU want. What could be better?
How do you organize yourself? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!