Organization 101: One key to success

From the desk of Jessica Mize, ACE Director:

Success is often defined differently depending on factors such as age, season of life, culture and personal expectations. For some, success means happiness; for others it may be wealth or job title. Yet, one key to success no matter how you define it is organization.

On Tuesday during Ms. O’Brien’s Humanities classes, Mrs. Mize and Coach Ryle hosted an organization workshop. Each student learned a six-step process to incorporating organization as a habit in their life.

Step 1: Declutter. We often cannot find what we need because of all of the stuff we have that gets in the way.

Step 2: Planner. Whether you use a digital or hard copy, a planner is necessary. There is no way we can keep up with all that is asked of us from the start to the end of our day without writing it down. It is kind of like those waiters or waitresses that take your order without writing anything down…it always makes you nervous that they will get it right. So how can we expect ourselves to remember everything that is said to us from 8 a.m. until bedtime unless we write it down?

Step 3: Plan your week ahead of time. Each Sunday evening, take a look at the assignments and activities planned for the week ahead, and write them in your planner. It will definitely help to color code your assignments and activities for differentiation such as blue for math, black for humanities, red for science, purple for extra-curricular, etc.

Step 4: Folders. It is important to have some kind of filing system for handouts and important documents. Again, color-coding can be a great way to compartmentalize and keep different assignments where they belong.

Step 5: Desk/work area. It is important to have a go-to spot for completing assignments. And make sure it is stocked with all of the supplies you need such as pens, pencils, highlighters, paper, etc. A space like this can also help your mind get into work-mode.

Step 6- Daily Tasks. It is essential to make a habit of going through folders, planners, and backpacks each day in order to make sure that you do not miss anything. This is also helpful for hectic mornings that are sure to happen. When you go through your things prior to bedtime, you can make sure that you are prepared to walk out the door with everything you need in the morning.

Last, it is important that you reward yourself for your progress. Make a deal with yourself that organization and the simple habits listed above become a part of your routine each day. Again, no matter how you define success, you need a plan to get there: a plan with some organization!