The Chemist: Organization is Key!
Hey everyone! Sorry I didn’t post last week, I was in Minnesota at a conference. This week, we’re talking about organization. Now anyone that knows me or has worked with me knows I’m pretty organized and methodical. I’m type A, so there’s some things that I need done a certain way. I’m not bad to the point where I’ll freak out if they aren’t done a certain way, I’m just a creature of habit and if I find something that works, I stick with it.
But here are some of my tips.
1. Make a schedule. Schedules are a great tool to keep you on track especially if you have a lot of responsibilities. I put everything on my calendar (on my phone) and i have different calendars for different things. I’m the treasurer of OSU’s NOBCChE chapter and have a calendar for our meetings and events that’s separate from my school-related calendar. It’s easier for me to think about my different hats I’m wearing separately or I’ll get overwhelmed putting everything in one place. If you’re old school, use a planner. They serve the same purpose. Whatever helps you keep your life on track and in one place.
2. Color code. Color code. Color code. This is something that I’ve been doing for as long as I can remember. I always associate one color for one thing. This works really well for those taking classes. For instance, blue is my favorite color, so my blue notebook and folders are reserved for my favorite class at that time. Black is for the class I dislike the most, red is usually math, etc. I also have colorful pens and a legend on a sticky note on my desk for when I’m reading research papers that have different topics. It’s easier for me to think in colors than having to go open up a folder or notebook or paper and reading what’s in it/what it's about before deciding whether or not that's what I was looking for. Color coding makes it easy to grab and go.
3. De-clutter. When you’re done with a class, assignment, anything really and if you don’t need it anymore, throw it away. I get overwhelmed when I have too many papers on my desk or in my apartment so typically I do a semester cleaning. There’s some stuff you know you’re never going to use , so why bother keeping it? If you absolutely have to have it, invest in accordion folders, a file cabinet, or make use of your computer and turn those documents into PDFs to store on your desktop. Just be sure to clear stuff out no later than a year after you’ve used it, unless it’s necessary to what you’re doing.
Why is this important? Organization keeps you sane. At least I know it does for me. 9/10 I’m stressed because I’m not organized. Once I take a step back, prioritize, and get a game plan down, I’m fine. Now some people will be better at this than others, but with all things you have to take baby steps. Pick one small thing from our tips and try it out for a month. If it works, keep it up and once it’s a habit add something else. All that matters is you try something. If you’re reading this like, “Wow, Devin. I’m already organized,” then great job! Keep it up. If you see something on one of our posts you haven’t tried, try it out and let me know how it goes. All that matters is that everyone understands organization is key in any aspect of your life. At some point or in some area of your life you have to have a plan of attack. You don’t jump into everything blind. Small steps make reaching goals doable.
What are some of the ways you stay organized? Tweet us @MacScientists !