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3 Ways to Stay Organized

Michelle Lee, Living Arts Department

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Deadlines, errands, commitments, tests; the list goes on. Staying organized can be difficult at times when your brain has to be in multiple places at once. Statistics show that the average worker loses at least one hour of productivity due to disorganization. Managing time becomes a foreign concept to many, especially when work continues to pile up. Here are some simple tips on how to stay organized, which are helpful for school or everyday life.

1. Start by making a to-do list
It is helpful to compose a list of tasks you hope to accomplish each day. These can range from homework assignments, projects, or simple day to day errands. List the tasks from high to low priority, focusing on the important things first. Be realistic with the number of tasks, not writing down too little or too many, three to four is usually a good amount. For urgent pieces of work, it is not a bad idea to set a reminder on your phone as well, in case you forget.

A good app for organization is “Any.do”, which is free for iPhone and Android. “Any.do” is an app for reminders and has a simple blue and white layout that allows the lists you make sync with whatever device is being used. In addition, reminders can be scheduled for a specific location and allows for multiple types of lists to be created, so personal errands and work tasks can be separated yet still organized. It serves as both a planner and calendar.

2. Use Time Wisely
Determine how you spend your time, and how much time you would like to put into whatever you are doing. Plan out a reasonable amount of time for tasks, still leaving space to do things you enjoy as well, such as spending time with friends or family. Work on things in time increments, rather than waiting last minute to do one big assignment or project. At the same time, cut out the unimportant things.
For homework, a useful app is “Forest”, available for both iPhone and Android. It is laid out as an animation in which users can set an allotted time for productivity, and during the duration of time, a tree grows. When users click out of the app and into other sites, the tree dies. The goal is to plant as many trees as possible, eventually an entire forest. This easy navigable app is free on Android and costs $1.99 in the App Store for iPhone. Similar apps geared towards focusing and cutting out phone time are Freedom (iPhone) and Flat Tomato (iPhone and Android) which are both free.

3. Rid workspace of clutter
Whether your workspace is a desk or in the corner of your room, having a clutter free area is not only visually appealing, but will also put your mind at ease when it comes to finding what you need. Be sure to rid the area of distractions, only keeping the essential materials (such as notebooks, pens, laptop) in sight. Keep loose papers in folders, or if you have no need for them anymore, recycle them. Put books and supplies such as calculators, pens, or pencils back to their original place once finished. If you know you are going to need the same materials the next day, pack them into your bag or backpack the night before. You will be less likely to forget something when rushing out of the house the following morning.

And finally, make sure that you reward yourself for the things that you have accomplished!

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3 Ways to Stay Organized