Try our top tips for supercharging your organisation skills.
You arrive at volleyball training to ﬁnd you’ve left your favourite runners at home. You turn up at school one day and realise you’ve forgotten it was a good friend’s birthday. You ﬁnd yourself stressing on a Sunday night to complete three assignments due the next day. You want to return a library book but just can’t remember where you last saw it.
Love to be more organised but just don’t know where to start? Teen Breathe brings you some top tips to supercharge your organisation skills.
WHAT DOES BEING ORGANISED MEAN?
Think of somebody you know who is super organised. Make a list of reasons why you think of them that way. What did you include? Any of the following?
- They know where their belongings are
- They rarely lose things
- They always have what they need with them
- They remember important dates and events
- They don’t forget to do what they said they would
- They ﬁnish projects before deadlines
- They rarely stress about completing tasks at the last minute
WHY IS BEING ORGANISED IMPORTANT?
Being more organised reduces stress and worry, saves time and enables you to prioritise what’s important to you. People who are disorganised often leave tasks unﬁnished, miss deadlines, arrive late, fail to demonstrate their potential and miss out on opportunities they’d enjoy.
HOW TO GET MORE ORGANISED
1. Clear the clutter
If your bedroom drawers are overﬂowing, your bag barely clasps shut and you can’t see the back of your locker, it will be more time-consuming to ﬁnd what you’re looking for. Sort your room out – you might even discover things you’d forgotten about. Throw out any unnecessary clutter and donate items you no longer use to a younger sibling or charity shop.
2. Give your belongings a home
Keep everything in a set place to locate things quickly. Get creative and make labels for drawers and cupboards, or decorate boxes to keep similar items together (for example, toiletries, accessories, stationery).
3. Have a digi-declutter
Photos, school assignments, projects… The likelihood is, most are stored electronically. Get into the habit of creating folders for each subject area. Save and back-up regularly to avoid unnecessary work.
4. Write it down
Relying on memory alone has drawbacks. Write down things to do or remember on a sticky note, a notepad or a whiteboard. Keep it somewhere visible so it jogs your memory each time you walk past.
5. Use a diary or calendar – and look at it often
Whether paper or digital, using a diary or calendar helps you remember what you need to do and what to prioritise. Write down what’s happening, your plans, deadlines, birthdays and anything else. Look at it regularly – perhaps ﬁrst thing each morning – to help plan your day and the week ahead.
6. Build in some routines
Routines become habits and good organisational habits help you keep on top of things and remain stress-free. You might, for example, have a set routine each evening of preparing your clothes, bag and lunch for the next day. Setting reminders or alarms can help you to do things at certain times if you tend to forget.
7. Break down larger tasks into easier chunks
Disorganised people often leave tasks until the last minute, then they stress over having too much to do in too short a time. Break down any bigger task into the smaller steps you need to take to reach your overall goal. Write each of these smaller tasks in your diary or calendar and tick them oﬀ once done. You’ll be ﬁnished before you know it.
Make it easy for yourself. Find out what works for you and develop your own ways of organisation. If you tend to lose bits of paper, take a photo of them so you have a digital copy. If you never remember birthdays, make a set of birthday cards in advance so you always have some ready. If you regularly forget your running shoes for P.E., try keeping them at the front door. If you split your time between parents, have two sets of toiletries/nightwear/essentials so that you don’t have to remember to take everything from one house to the other.