Why is it important to identify and help disorganized students? Who are disorganized students and what do they do differently than organized students? We all know adults who function adequately despite their disorganized homes or chaos at work (although many do not). If you asked them, they would probably tell you that they’ve always been that way, even as children. What they might be hesitant to share is that struggling with organization affected them mentally, emotionally, socially, and maybe even physically even when they were students. It is important to understand that disorganized students are no different than any other students in the sense that they need love, understanding, support, encouragement, and confidence. As a parent, your goal is to help set your student up for success. That means understanding the specific strategies that will help the disorganized student to function in a more organized and less stressful way in all environments. It may also mean that he or she will need to develop coping strategies for the areas that present greater difficulty. Previously I recommended that you begin to keep a notebook describing the behaviors that you observed in your student that demonstrate his or her difficulty with getting or staying organized. Now add information to this notebook (remember it is for the parents’ eyes, only) about the student’s predominant learning style. Notice if he or she tend to learn and remember information that is presented visually more so than auditorally. Or is the student what we call a kinesthetic learner? Some students learn and remember things better when they are hands-on and can do something with things. Image courtesy of: hyenareality/freedigitalphotos.net
Do you know a student who is disorganized? If so, you probably recognize that he or she is likely to be disorganized at home and at school. What is it that he or she does, or doesn’t do, that demonstrates difficulty with being or staying organized? Disorganized students may exhibit behaviors such as: Frequently loses or has trouble finding things that he or she needs. Has difficulty being on time for activities or transitioning from one to another. Often forgets to do what he or she was asked to do. It’s summer vacation for most students and as a former educator I’d like to encourage you to help your student now. Begin by writing your observations in a notebook (your eyes, only). The key is to be observant without being judgmental. After awhile you will begin to identify patterns in the student’s behaviors. What are his reactions to the situation? Begin to think about what your goals for your student are as we develop a plan of action.
Here is the last of my favorite 6 Ways to Feel More Organized with Time Management tips: Use Deadlines. Some projects and tasks come with due dates or deadlines. That is a built-in time management tool that creates a sense of urgency. When there is a deadline or due date I would encourage you to: Analyze each of the steps that need to be taken to complete the project and Determine how much time you need to complete each step. Knowing those 2 pieces of information allows you to plan backwards and schedule each step well before the deadline. There are some projects that have no deadline though and here is the time management tool to implement in those cases: create your own deadline for the project. Remember that if something is important enough to you and you want to accomplish it, assigning it a deadline will help you to plan, schedule, and complete it. Take a minute to post your questions and comments on my Outside In Organizer and Makeovers Facebook page or follow me @DeniseOrganizer on Twitter and tweet your comment. Still shy about social media but have a question or idea? You can always email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
These are my 6 best ways to help you can feel more organized about your life with time management: 1. Overestimate 2. Take breaks 3. Trash your to-do list 4. Establish and maintain a sleep routine 5. Plan regularly 6. Use deadlines If you only change one way you manage your time in order to feel more organized, the most important way is to get enough sleep! That’s right, getting an adequate amount of uninterrupted sleep on a regular basis is the most foundational time management habit you can create and maintain. Why? Just think about how you feel and function when you don’t! Inadequate and irregular sleep negatively affects your concentration, mood, physical energy and decision making. It’s a well known fact that Americans are sleep-deprived. Make it your goal to establish a consistent sleep routine and observe how it changes your organization and productivity at work and at home. Set your intention to do these 3 things for at least 2-3 weeks: Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, even weekends. Allow yourself 20-30 minutes before you go to sleep for calming. No more television, email, etc. Just read something soothing, listen to calming music, or stretch and practice breathing mindfully. Notice any difference in the quality of your sleep and how you feel when you wake up. Observe any difference in your energy level and concentration throughout the day. See if you feel more organized and efficient, less harried and more in control. Post your comments on my Outside In Organizer and Makeovers Facebook page.
Do you feel more organized when you have enough time to get the things that you want and need to do? Here are my 6 surefire ways to feel more organized using time management as an organizing tool: 1. Overestimate 2. Take breaks 3. Trash your to-do list 4. Establish and maintain a sleep routine 5. Plan regularly 6. Use deadlines It may sound strange but stop working and take a break! Scheduling regular breaks can improve your overall productivity, help you to refocus, and feel more energized. There are lots of ways to take breaks, for instance: Move – get up from your desk, stretch, take a walk. Nourish – hydrate, eat healthy snacks. Reward yourself – after 60-90 minutes of sustained work do something fun for 10 minutes such as call a friend, play your favorite online game, work on a crossword puzzle. Here is an article with more ideas about why taking breaks is part of your time management and productivity plan: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/19/youve-been-taking-breaks-_n_4453448.html Post your comments on my Outside In Organizer and Makeovers Facebook page Follow @DeniseOrganizer on Twitter and tweet your comment, or Email me: email@example.com
Here are my 6 ways for you to feel more organized with time management strategies that really work! 1. Overestimate 2. Take breaks 3. Trash your to-do list 4. Establish and maintain a sleep routine 5. Plan regularly 6. Use deadlines Trash your to-do list: Schedule all of your to-do list items for a specific day and time. If you are a list maker like many of us this probably sounds like a ridiculous idea. I’ve heard some of the initial objections, “But I like seeing my list.” “But I like checking things off of my to-do list.” “But it feels so good when I finish something and I can draw a line through it.” “But if I don’t have a to-do list I’ll forget to do it.” That’s a lot of buts! So let’s pretend that I’m working with you. Imagine that I am asking you these gentle, guiding questions: • How does seeing your list of things to do make you feel? • Would you feel better if you knew that you had the time set aside for each of your to-do’s? • Is it possible to check off the to-do’s on your planner? Can you cross them off, too? Would that feel similar to doing it with your list (or better)? • Would reviewing your planner on a regular basis allow you to see your scheduled to-do’s at a glance? • Is your to-do list currently working for you and meeting your needs? That is, is the ongoing, never-ending list helping you actually get things done? I would like to challenge you to try scheduling 2-3 of the to-do items from your list into your planner. Cross them off the list and assign them a “home”, that is, a specific day and realistic amount of time to… read more →
Do you ever wish that you could feel organized? Maybe you were more organized at one time in your life but it’s been so long that you’ve abandoned that image of yourself. You don’t have give up! Today I want to talk with you about what feeling organized means and how taking a break can make that feeling possible.Feeling organized shows up in different ways and at various times, sometimes only for a few moments. Think about what it actually feels like, mentally and physically, to be organized. Do any of these descriptions sound like what it would feel to you: • Calm • Focused • Relaxed • Observant • Confident • In control • Goal-directed • Competent • Prepared • Energized • Proactive • Satisfied Did you notice that I didn’t use descriptions of space or stuff? I didn’t list things like clutter-free, clear counter tops, or labeled containers. That is because feeling organized has more to do with the inside that the outside. I know that’s contrary to the name of my business, Outside In Organizer and Makeovers, but the name is actually more about how we can use external strategies to foster those feelings while we are doing the long-term inner work. Next time you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed I want you to try something. Stop for a moment and just notice how you feel in your head (your thoughts) and in your body (muscle tension). Try taking a deep breath, even if you are driving; exhale fully first, because this will create space for the incoming breath. Just try to notice during that moment that you can choose to relax and refocus. You can practice doing this at anytime and anywhere, it is like pressing the reset button! Why am I asking you to do… read more →
Now that you’ve sorted and organized everything on the surfaces of your office you are ready to go deeper! Wondering how to do this? During this step in the organizing process you are going to work in the individual drawers and files one at a time. This is generally a longer process so I recommend that you schedule a specific day and block of uninterrupted time to do this work. Establish your goals before you begin so that you will be able to plan ahead. Overall, the goal of this process is to thin out the amount of inventory in your office drawers and files so that you are organizing only what you need and use. However, you may want to focus on some or all of the following office organizing goals: 1. Create more digital and scanned records to reduce the amount of paper documentation. 2. Change the location of items and files in order to maximize easy retrieval and access. 3. Utilize systems and strategies that are aligned with your work and learning style. Are you more visual, auditory, tactile, or kinesthetic? Work from your strengths. 4. Maximize storage space including vertical and wall spaces. OIOM TIP: Save horizontal space for the work and when you are done have storage elsewhere. 5. Decrease clutter with more efficient containers, a tickler file system, or remote storage. Supplies to have before you start organizing: • Single tab file folders • Hanging files • Empty file box(-es) to hold hanging files • Pencils, eraser • A clear horizontal space to work on How to Organize: Identify the drawer that you want to begin with and work only in that drawer. • Office supplies: Take everything out of the drawer and place all of the items on to your clear work surface.… read more →
You may think that a nice big container will help you organize all of those papers, take out menus, receipts and so on but wait! Deep containers and bins for a variety of items end up attracting large, unsorted piles of paper. Notice the green container holding that pile and taking up what we Professional Organizers refer to as valuable real estate? Eventually, you’re going to have to take action and the question is, will it be the best use of your time? Some potential hazards include: Losing something important. Forgetting to pay a fee. Missing a deadline. Being closed out of an event. Forgetting an appointment. Expired coupons and gift cards. The result? Wasted time, energy, stress, self criticism or loss of credibility. Organize first by doing a quick sort in order to avoid the piles and desire for something to contain them in. Take action the same day…keep it? If it is something that you need to act on, do it right away or schedule it. If it is for reference later, put it in your tickler file. If you can find it elsewhere (Internet), then recycle it. Confidential? Then shred it. Deep containers and bins are good for larger items such as large toys, blankets, and off season clothing and gear.
A Real Estate Agent hired me to help her clients as the first critical step in staging their home. Their goals were to learn how to… Declutter and organize Prepare for packing and moving. When you make the decision to sell your home that is only the first of many decisions! The benefits of working with a Professional Organizer like Outside In Organizer, include time and stress management. Very few people have the time and energy to maintain their work and family life while preparing for a sale and a move. We began with the family room and decided that it was essential to convey the potential for this well-lit space to serve both child and adult needs. We downsized the inventory of toys by removing some and containing others. This helped to clear the floor area and display just how spacious the room was. TIP: make sure the favorite toys remain accessible to the child in the bins that he or she can reach. Once the toys were removed from the opposite side of the room it was more adult-friendly! We made optimal use of the available storage space under the banquette seating. After decluttering and organizing the space the next step is to add decorative touches. First room done in just hours and everyone was happy!