Wednesday, February 24, 2016

How I Stay Organized: Trial and Error

Any of you who follow me on Instagram can attest that I am in fact, obsessed with my planner. By the way if you don't follow me, my username is ahavahlovely. I thought I would share with you how I stay organized in general. If you want a more detailed post about my planner specifically (I use the Passion Planner), I'd be happy to do that.

1. Monthly and Long Term Planning
Before each semester starts (or right after the first day of classes), I sit down with each of my syllabi and put every assignment on my calendar on the monthly view of my planner. At this time, I will also go through the school calendar and put in any days off or changes in schedule. I will also put weekends away or big events that I have dates for in advance on the monthly view. At the beginning of every month, I will go over this view, and I will fill out the projects section in my planner. Basically, I pick three or four big projects or essays that I will be working on during the month, and I divide them out into manageable action steps. I then assign deadlines to them. This keeps me from being overwhelmed by looming due dates.

2. Weekly Planning
Every Sunday, I set aside approximately an hour to fill out my planner for the week. First, I look at the monthly view and input any events or assignments that I need to be aware of for that week. I will also go through FB events for the week and see what I need to input on my calendar. At this point I will also put in any recurring meetings. Additionally, under Friday, I will put any big tests or assignments that are happening the next week. Second, I pick a decorative theme for my planner--doing this helps with my anxiety and I find it fun.  The planner is totally functional without the decoration, but I enjoy it. Next, I make my chart for steps and exercise in the bottom of my planner and add reminders and a quote next to it. On the bottom of my planner, I will put any to-dos that can be done throughout the week. I will also often set up to-do lists either in pen or with stickers on each day.

3. Daily Planning
Every night before I go to bed, I try to create a to-do list for the next day. Additionally, throughout my classes, I will add things to my to-do list in their appropriate color. I am now experimenting with having my to-do list outside of my planner, but the most important thing for my sanity is that I have a to-do list. If I write it down, it won't stress me out. I don't really do anything specific to manage my time although I will occasionally reward myself with YouTube videos if I have worked for a long time.

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