| by Thuy Truong, M.A. Ed., TPT Teaching and Coaching, 4/21/2022|
The true purpose of organization is to make our lives easier so we can achieve work-life balance by putting in place systems that will help us achieve innovation and efficiency. I don't know about you, but I always notice that the best organizational systems almost always require us to put in upfront work in order to benefit us later. Efficiency often requires some form of initial investment. The good news is it is all worth it in the end because you will be the first to benefit. Explore a few out-of-the-box organizational strategies below to make your daily routines easier to tackle:
Have bulleted ideas ready for an essay
We often think excellent writers just have every thought written down in one sitting, but that is far from reality. The most efficient writers try to flesh out their thoughts in short bursts. For example, if you can't think of a way to initiate a writing assignment, sit down anyway and create 3-5 bulleted ideas for the assignment by looking at the assigned essay question. Despite starting an essay with a few bulleted ideas are often considered little wins, this very act will spiral into bigger victories that will take your paper into great heights. Research shows the brain needs time overnight to create new knowledge and new memory formation (Harvard Research). So you just add more to your paper consistently over time as thoughts expand.
Have checklists ready for things you buy weekly
Are you tired of making new checklists over and over again? Well, the good news is you don't have to start fresh every time. The solution is to make your checklists reusable by using a computer or iPhone program that allows you to edit your list easily like Notes in your phone or other digital platforms of your choice that will enable effortless revision as your needs evolve over time. This will save you precious time and energy since you will never have to run back and forth to stores when you forget one last item.
Have checklists for tasks you do often
What's the fastest way to complete a task efficiently and quickly without skipping a detail? You guessed it. A checklist! Think of a checklist as a self-accountability partner so you can complete tasks quickly without missing a step. It is a tool of efficiency that will save you time and effort so you don't have to do double work because you'll get everything the first time you'll go through it.
Create your own website shortcuts
Because digital education has become a commonplace at almost all educational levels, virtual organization is a critical starting point. This is where strategic thinking and self-awareness come in. You can use preexisting computer applications to create your website shortcuts. You can bookmark your frequently used websites the traditional ways via the Bookmark Bar. However, this traditional route doesn't create long-lasting efficiency because it is a lot of work to get rid of websites that you no longer need. Meanwhile, Google Tasks simply allows you to delete something with a succinct click. You can use Google Tasks as a perfect multifunction column for all academic portals (Canvas, BlackBoard etc.) that you need to access on a daily or weekly basis without clicking five additional tabs in order to arrive at the final online destination. And when you don't need it anymore, just click the checkmark and poof, it's gone!
Organization is no doubt tied to time management. The more organizational systems you have in place, the more time you will save as you travel the path of becoming an efficient learner and accomplished professional.
Thuy Truong, M.A. Ed.
I am a licensed professional educator, executive function expert, former tenured high school teacher and college instructor with 16 years experience. I am also a student success designer. I enjoy recognizing the missing puzzle in the student's learning and personalizing that solution in a language that is unique to that student. I love the creative challenge of inventing a new language for every child.