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How to Stay Organized

Updated: Jun 29, 2021

Effective Tips to be happier and more successful!

By: Naya Dukkipati

"For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned." Benjamin Franklin

Note: Make sure to read through everything because each tip gives a "sub tip" on how to implement each organization method to make them effective and easy to do. Additionally, I integrate each of these methods in my life and this is what works for me. While I think all these tips are essential in staying organized, feel free to alter them as necessary, so they suit you and your lifestyle.

1. Daily To-Do List

This method is one of the most obvious and most important tips to stay organized. I keep two two lists: My daily tasks and weekly tasks. For my daily tasks, I write out everything I want to accomplish that day then I use the “stoplight method.” I draw a red dot next to the tasks I have to complete that day (no exceptions), yellow for tasks I would like to complete, and green for the tasks that if I get to it great, and if not, it is not the end of the world. If you want something simpler, just draw a dot or highlight the tasks that are urgent.

2. Weekly To-Do List

For my weekly tasks, I use Notion (not sponsored). This is a user-friendly and adaptable platform, which makes organization very easy. I simply type out all the tasks I have for each day before the week starts. For instance, on Monday, I write Tennis Practice because I know I have tennis practice every Monday. Then as the day goes on and I am assigned school work, I write out all my assignments such as “Chinese Homework” and project tasks like “ Write a script.” Lastly, I can move tasks around easily on Notion, so I usually organize them in the order I am going to complete them.

3. Calendar

A monthly calendar is extremely vital because it allows you to write out all your deadlines and important dates, so you don’t have to worry about remembering them. This also will help you be more proactive and stop procrastinating because if you reference your calendar regularly, you will then say “I have a tennis competition and doctor’s appointment Thursday, so I should probably start working on my essay that’s due Friday, so I don’t have to pull an all nighter and be stressed.” A calendar is also a great way to put things into perspective. You might often have monthly or yearly goals, you want to achieve and a calendar allows you to take a step back and makes you ask yourself: “Is what I am doing today going to help me achieve my goals?”

4. Functional System

Unless you want to look like the girl in the image above, you need an organization system. There are a few ways you can approach organizing everything in your life from school to clubs to personal stuff. One is binders and notebooks. Write everything down and have a notebook assigned for each class or club and a binder as well to keep track of individual papers and essays. You can also invest in an iPAD, so everything is in one place. I recommend “Good Notes” for school because I can organize it like my google drive, which makes my life easier and happier. This may seem kind of pricey, but I implore you to look into the future and reflect on the present. Constantly buying schools supplies becomes expensive in the long run. More importantly, these supplies usually go to waste for some people. If you know you constantly lose papers and just jam everything into your backpack until it rips open, then maybe a simpler system will work better.

5. Declutter

No matter what system you are using, you will need to do a declutter phase. This includes throwing out papers you no longer need, deleting extra files from your iPAD, making sure everything is in an easy to find place, cleaning up your email, tidying your room, and having a functional work space. This method is not specific to school. Getting rid of old clothes and also doing a self-care routine can benefit you in several aspects. If everything around you seems a mess, then your mindset and work will reflect your environment.


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