My counselor friends, you live in chaos everyday and so did I as a School Counselor. Organization is achievable but you have to be disciplined and organized.
I just started my first week as a doctoral student. Oh boy, talk about chaos. I had a moment of panic with my advisor. I said, "How in the heck am I going to get all of this done? You're a mom who earn her PhD with kids in the mix. How in the heck did you do it?" Her response was simple, "schedule everything." She told me I need to schedule everything in my life, even down to when I'm going to shower to when I'm going to spend time with my family. She even said it might sound cold but it works and you will find yourself less worried by having it all mapped out.
I also feel it's important that you build in flex time because life doesn't always go as planned. That's life.
The Three Most Common Excuses:
1. I'm too exhausted from all the chaos to even think about improving my organization skills.
2. Remember, I live in chaos and its comfortable. Why should I change my habits? Wait, weren't you just complaining about never having enough time?
3. I have no idea where to start.
The Three Reasons You Should Start:
1. Effective time management leads to productivity. When you feel productive, you are happy and motivated. This allows you to have more energy, get more sleep, and spend more time on the R&R; like time with your family, friends, enjoying a hobby, or all of the above.
2.The sense of control. The more organized you are, the more in control you will feel.
3. Eliminating a Stressor. I don't know if you are like me but If it's not written some where then I'm trying to remember the task in order to make sure it gets done. This can be very stressful and you are setting yourself up for failure; you are too busy to remember every detail.
What works for me:
- Google Calendar
- The ability to color code everything in google calendar
- The ability to share this calendar with my family, staff, etc. (hint because you are able to make multiple calendars within your one calendar you have the ability to control who sees what.)
- The ability to see my calendar in multiple places. I.e. computer, phone, tablet, or even in paper for. (hint use the google calendar app if you are an iPhone user).
Here's a break down of how to use Google Calendar: