Today, we have a special guest with us: my very own mama! As the new year has begun, you’re probably thinking through the year and the resolutions that you’d like to achieve in thenewness of the annum (I know I am!). However, I *also* know how hard it can be to organize your thoughts, and ultimately, your life. Not to fear! My mom has come to your rescue via a new AGG: The Ambitious Girl’s Guide to an Organized Life!
For those of you who don’t know, my mom has a Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in educational psychology. She was a music teacher before I was born, but her true passion lies in helping other people, specifically kids and young adults, with organization and time management, and she’s about to spill the tea on how you can live an organized life, too! Without further ado, we are proud to present the easy hacks to an organized life!
Bethany: What are some small ways that college students can start to implement organization into their life?
Mama Mary:The trick to being organized is not falling too far behind. Being proactive with what’s ahead instead of reactive to what happened will help you to reduce stress and become more organized. An easy way to begin is to look around! See what needs to be done, see how much time you have, and then see how you can multitask.
B: What are your best tips for time management?
MM: Lump activities together. If you need to do laundry and need to be in your room for an hour, what homework can you complete in that time? If you have errands to run off-campus, run all of your errands in one day instead of making multiple trips. Keep a running list of items you’re running low on so you’re not in crisis. Purchase things before you run out, when you have time to run your errands!
Keep your work-time for work and fun-time for fun! Over-budget the amount of time your work will take, and you’ll end up with more free time to do the things that you enjoy doing. If you end up taking the fully budgeted time, you’ll be really happy you had the time scheduled and that it didn’t run into your other activities.
As far as sticking to timescales, utilize the ‘Power of the Half-Hour’ and the ten-minute tidy! Small amounts of time count! Don’t think that if you don’t have a large chunk of time, your time is worthless. That gets you into a negative cycle. Many things can be done in a half hour. Challenge yourself and see what you can accomplish.
The ten-minute tidy is an easy way to keep your space under control! Set your timer for ten minutes and use it to tidy up your dorm room and bathroom every day. This will keep things neat, clean, and welcoming to guests!
B: Any hacks for being more efficient?
MM: This is a big one: while you’re studying, turn off your phone! Check it on breaks, every 20-30 minutes, and otherwise, power down so that you can focus.
Waiting is a time-waster. Do something while you’re waiting besides checking your phone. If you have an article to read, get it done while you’re in line at Kroger. Even if you only finish one section, you’re a section ahead.
And don’t ever hit snooze! Get up when you’re supposed to get up and don’t set your alarm early for the purpose of hitting snooze. Just get up. Snoozing interrupts your sleep, so it’s better to sleep as much as you can and get up when you need to.
B: Someone on Instagram had asked about color-coding. What are your tips and tricks for that?
MM: Color-coding is fun! You can do as much or as little as you’d like, but you need to find the system that works for you. You can color-code by activities (ie school, leisure, service, etc), you can organize by assigning a color to each academic subject (math, history, philosophy, etc, or by folders that match a specific textbook for a given class), or, some people like to color-code by day of the week. It’s really up tp you to figure out how to best visually organize your schedule by color in a way that is pleasing and makes you more efficient.
B: Is there anything else that you’d like to say on living a more organized and efficient lifestyle?
MM: For those of you with kitchens, do all your chopping at once. Plan your meals to double-up on ingredients that you can chop all at once instead of a couple times over the course of the week.
And if you’re doing red laundry, don’t wear red, because you’re already starting your next dirty laundry pile! Wear another color that you haven’t washed yet. It’s stupid, but it works.
We hope that these tips help you out while you’re planning out how to become more organized, productive, and efficient as the new year starts! If you liked this style of dialogue, let me know in the comments so that your opinion is taken into account.