Organization, procrastination and the ADD-riddled mind

When I first created Becoming Organized I mentioned that I would eventually touch upon reasons as to why I personally utilize organization methods, and why it is important to me. This is that post. I realize now though, that I’m not writing this to talk about myself. This post is for people who are/were in the same situation as me; individuals that possess the ability to carry on an insightful and intelligent conversation, but can’t seem to do what is required of them otherwise. I’m writing about what worked for me when it came to tackling my enemy, Attention Deficit Disorder. Because who knows, maybe it will work for you.

There is lots more to read after the

Continue Reading May 8, 2010 at 7:59 pm 1 comment

Advantages/disadvantages of a connected world

I don’t think the power of the internet was truly recognized until social media became popular. Social media provides the world with a new method of obtaining news from multiple and specialized sources.

Historically, the expansion of communication from local to worldwide helped set the stage for the creation of social media. Mix easy global communication, with two parts self-centered tendencies of humans, and viola you’ve created social media, where everything is news.

Think about it. Don’t you think it’s odd when someone doesn’t have a Facebook page? An ‘ own space on the internet where they can display pictures of friends and the places they’ve been to, along with a neat list of favorite movies, music, books and TV shows. Not only that, but also periodically update their friends with an update of where they are going, what they are doing or what they are feeling. While websites like MySpace and Facebook first began with social media intentions, they are now a part of the daily norm for many human beings. Things like online identity are suddenly another necessity in the journalism field to make yourself a credible reporter.

Either way you use social media, it is a helpful tool for journalists. It allows them to search the world for different opinions and gives journalists the opportunity to add a face to a story. Usually, when a writer attaches a human face to a story it causes the reader to become more empathetic.

With the boom of social media assisting journalists with stories as far as sources and coverage goes, there is also the creation of blogs and specialized news sources. Instead of sifting through a whole paper for the sports section, there are entire websites and blogs dedicated to sports which are more practical for a sports fan to receive specific and in-depth news from. I think that while blogs are a great method of receiving news about issues you are concerned about – it is still very important to read multiple sources of news before forming a conclusion about an event. Many issues come into play here such as depth and accuracy of coverage. It’s important that when reading a blog for news, that a reader selects blogs which are correct. As someone who aspires to make a living out of blogging, it makes me want to be very accurate with my reporting and coverage.

May 8, 2010 at 4:26 pm Leave a comment

Improve your legibility

There is currently a war going on between organization/productivity guru’s about which method of organization is better: paper or electronic?

Each has its own merits, but I find that sticking with paper is more reliable than electronic organizers. The only issue with relying on paper organization is having legible handwriting. If you’re spending more time trying to figure out what the heck you have to do than actually carrying out a task, then your wasting precious time.

This article from the New York Times gives a template for improving your hand writing. I haven’t tried it out yet, but since I’ve got some of the worst handwriting since sliced bread, I see no harm in trying to improve.

March 31, 2010 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

The law of diminishing happiness

I thought this article from Unclutterer was interesting. The title is, “Can a person clutter up his time by constantly uncluttering?” and explains the myth of Sisyphus and the law of diminishing returns.

The law of diminishing returns is an economics term that tells us that there is a point at which increased production will create reduced benefits.

There comes a time when organization stops being a goal, and more of a habit which aids you in achieving larger goals. This is a good thing. Making organization a habit lessens anxiety and helps you breathe easy while focusing on your other goals.

There is however, a point of no return. When organization is more than a habit, and the only focus in your life. Thus the increased production and reduced benefits. An important thing to remember is that this point is different for everyone.

I’m glad that I found this article, and it is certainly something I will be keeping in mind. While striving for organization is a work in progress for me, I hope that in the long run I will be able to carry out more within my days. I’ll be keeping in mind the law of diminishing returns though to make sure I don’t reach a point of no return. While working on making organization a habit, I don’t want it to completely consume my life.

March 29, 2010 at 2:45 pm Leave a comment

How other people stay organized

I went around asking other La Salle students how they stay organized. It seems that a lot of people feel the need to write down tasks, or general “to-do” lists everyday. Take a listen!

I also posted three more websites under the ‘Helpful Links’ section to other blogs that are about organization. Unclutterer is a website I recently found that I really enjoy. It focus’ on organization strategies and features product reviews to help you make the most out of your home or office to help with efficiency.

March 17, 2010 at 2:36 pm Leave a comment

How to get things done

In my last post, I talked about my six-week slump. I feel comfortable and caught up (minus a few posts that I have to make for English 402) with my school work now. But finding the motivation to buckle down and get this work done was difficult, to say the least. Throughout the weekend I constantly cursed myself as I sat down to catch up on my assignments, telling myself that had I just pushed myself to get these assignments done on time, I wouldn’t have to sacrifice my weekend. I feel that organization is important so that events like falling behind in class don’t happen. While I would have rather spent the weekend hanging out with my friends, there are a couple of things that I kept in mind to help me square away all of this extra work.

Don’t multitask.

It doesn’t work. The human brain isn’t able to focus on more than one thing at the time. So while you think you’re accomplishing more by multi-tasking, it actually takes longer because your brain is switching back and forth between ideas and tasks. By focusing your attention on one thing at a time, you’ll find that you complete assignments faster.

Do the tasks that you’re least looking forward to first.

If it’s between a five-page paper for the history class that you have little to no interest in, and a one page response to an article that you enjoyed reading, do the five-pager first. Accomplishing tasks that you know will be particularly difficult will give you a sense of accomplishment when everything is said and done, and make the one page response seem like a breeze. Putting off that five-page paper will only make completing it more arduous.

Prioritize and create a to-do list.

If you don’t know what you have to do, you’re more likely to forget. Before I settle in for a night of homework I create a list of what needs I need to finish, and then decide the order in which I’ll complete them (also known as prioritizing). I base the priority of an assignment depending on when the assignment is due, and approximately the time it will take me to finish it. Having everything written in a list form makes it easier for me to visualize what I need to do, and takes stress off of my mind, allowing me to focus on one task at a time. When I complete something, it feels great to either cross, or check it off of my list.

Live by the three D’s: drop, decrease or delegate.

For this I have a personal example. Wednesday is by far my busiest day of the week. After I’m finished with class at 3:15 I immediately get down to business with the Collegian making sure that I have everything I’ll need once I begin laying out the news section later that night. On one particular Wednesday I realized that I was supposed to be in three places at once: the Communication Center, Lambert Street and in an interview. I silently freaked out for a few moments before realizing that I had support around me to help me carry out these tasks. There was nothing that could be dropped, but I was able to decrease the work that I was doing and delegate to others. I called up a fellow editor of the Collegian who is in the class that I needed a picture of and she was more than happy to help by taking a few quick snapshots. I quickly called another friend that I knew had free time and asked her to take a walk over to Lambert Street and take some pictures of the street to go along with an article about recent break-ins in the neighborhood. As I walked over to Holroyd to have an interview with the Dean of Arts and Science I had a clear mind, knowing that I had less on my plate and that everything was taken care of.

Dropping, decreasing and delegating is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s having the ability to recognize when you have too much on your plate. When it came to catching up on school work, it was all about dropping the assignments that I am not receiving a grade for. It’s a difficult thing to own up to, but I came to accept the fact that in the end, I do lose out. One particular example of this is some work that I need to do for my legal writing class. Each week we’re required to write response to some form of legal writing, as well as do exercises that focus on bettering our legal writing by re-writing poorly written sentences. I am not going to completely drop these guidelines, but instead simply read the guidelines and not complete the exercises. The weekly guidelines are for my benefit, but at a time like this, I realize that I just can’t do it all.

I picked up these tips from a Cosmopolitan article (I don’t remember the article title or which month it was published). I cut out their time-saving tips and taped them into my Moleskine as helpful reminders. I’m hoping to start this new week fresh and new and get myself back on the path of organization.

March 1, 2010 at 3:00 am Leave a comment

The six week slump

I like to think I started out this semester strong. I was writing appointments down in my planner, doing homework days ahead of the due date. I wasn’t stressed, I was getting adequate amounts of sleep. The rest of the semester looked bright.

I can’t figure out when or where it happened, but I started slacking, and it’s catching up to me big time the week before finals. It would be embarrassing and time-consuming to list all that I’ve fallen behind on, but a word to the wise: don’t let this happen to you.

Becoming and remaining organized is a habit – and just like any new habit, it’s easy to break. Now I’m paying the price with buckling down the week before mid-terms. The plan is to get through the week completing all current assignments, and take advantage my closing shift at work on Friday to get some of the past work I’ve neglected out-of-the-way. I already warned my friends that it might feel like I’ve disappeared off the face of the planet.

It feels good to nip stuff like this in the bud early on. I know that once I force myself to sit down and get everything done, I’ll feel good knowing that I’m in good shape for the upcoming spring break. Of course, I’ll have to reevaluate my methods and mentality to make sure I don’t let the habit of organization fall by the wayside.

February 24, 2010 at 3:21 am Leave a comment

Older Posts


“Becoming Organized” in a nutshell.

Anais Nin once said, “Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.”

All I am is someone who is in the process of becoming organized, wanting to share my journey of the states I am going through. I like to think of it as lending a hand to the less organized. Giving personal testimony to what works for me and what doesn’t, helpful hints, tricks and tips, and why becoming organized was so important to me.

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