Organization For Your Life

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How organized are you?

Optimism bias a tendency to overestimate our likelihood of experiencing good events and underestimate our likelihood of experiencing bad events. For example, in a survey people were asked, how likely that one would have a fatal heart attack one day, only 19% were realistic, while 56% were too optimistic and 25% were too pessimistic. In reality, a person has a heart attack every 34 seconds.

Optimism bias can kick in whenever we try to evaluate ourselves, including how organized we are. We all know that being organized is necessary to keep things in order. We were taught to be organized ever since we were little, and most high school and college students believe that they are organized “enough”. However, is that true though? Check out the video below, see how many characteristics you have:

 

What does being organized look like?

Definition – organized (businessdictionary.com)

  1. Having taken something that is messy, chaotic, or unordered and rearranged it logically, into a structured or coherent layout, or into specific and/or defined groups. For example, the student organized his locker into specific sections
  2. State of being efficient or methodical. For example, the person was highly organized and knew immediately what to wear for any occasions.

Some other characteristics of a person who is organized:

  • Having a routine
  • Always pre-plan
  • Rarely getting surprised
  • Knowing what to do throughout every hours of a day
  • Being able to track and recall events over a long period of time
  • Understanding himself
  • Spending more time helping people

 

How to become more organized

Not everyone of us is perfect, hence, we are all unorganized to a certain degree. What matters is how much we realize our flaws and put in the work to actually change and become better. The Leadership Society of Arizona proposes 4 simple tasks that you can start implementing in your life to help you build a firm foundation and structure later in life.

Keep in mind…

  1. Change take time – One can’t simply change overnight, it takes time. Don’t have high expectations to make drastic improvement. Slow and steady wins the race. As long as you are applying correct principles, you will become better.
  2. People are unique – the tasks that we propose might not be applicable to everyone. You may find one task easier than the other, so just do the easy ones. Since all aspects of our life are related, when you improve in one area, other areas will improve as well.
  3. Our minds are weak –We can’t solely rely on our mind to go through life. It is necessary for us to have structures in our life so that we can do things without having to think about it, which allows us to save our already limited brain power for other things. Utilize technology and people to help you change.

Four things that can help you become more organized

1.      Keep your e-mails inbox clean

Nowadays, most communication and coordination takes place digitally and this likely won’t go anywhere in the future. Hence, learning to keep track of your e-mails is crucial for any type of career. Knowing how to use email to its full capacity is a valuable skill that is not taught in school. Things you can do to keep your emails organized: Have multiple accounts for different purposes (personal, school, work, etc.), create folders to sort all e-mails, never let your Inbox gets full, practice on writing professional emails (http://englishlive.ef.com/blog/write-perfect-professional-email-english-5-steps/).

 

Is it going to explode if I click it?…

 

2.      Downsize your wardrobe

Choosing what to wear is a decision that we have to make every day. The more clothes you have, the more decisions that we have to make. Sometimes we keep clothes that we are never going to wear that is going to take up even more space. Try to keep the amount of clothes down by having clothes that can be worn for multiple purposes (jeans, dress pants, simple T-shirts, etc.) and put away / donate what you don’t need. As a rule of thumb, if you haven’t worn something in the past year, you probably don’t need it.

 

How many more places can you go with this?

 

Compared to this…

3.      Go to bed on time and wake up early

If there is anything that you can do right now to improve your life quality tremendously, this is it . Five facts about sleeping:

  • Sleep is vital to your well-being, as important as the air you breathe, the water you drink and the food you eat. It can even help you to eat better and manage the stress of being a teen.
  • Biological sleep patterns shift toward later times for both sleeping and waking during adolescence — meaning it is natural to not be able to fall asleep before 11:00 pm.
  • Teens need about 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night to function best. Most teens do not get enough sleep — one study found that only 15% reported sleeping 8 1/2 hours on school nights.
  • Teens tend to have irregular sleep patterns across the week — they typically stay up late and sleep in late on the weekends, which can affect their biological clocks and hurt the quality of their sleep.
  • Many teens suffer from treatable sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy, insomnia, restless legs syndrome or sleep apnea.

(Teens and Sleep)

(How Sleep Deprivation Impacts Mental and Physical Health in America)

 

Not only going to bed on time is important, waking up early is also vital for your well-being. Waking up early allows the digestive system to operate and get rid of existing toxics in the body. Moreover, research has shown that the best time for the stomach to absorb nutrients is from 7-9AM. Hence, sleeping in would badly affect your health. Sleeping too much would even cause dizziness and tiredness for some people.

A normal human being spends 1/3 of his life sleeping. By being discipline in bedtime at a young age, we are setting up a strong foundation to do well in this 1/3 of our life, and be healthier, have more capability to take care the other 2/3 of our life. There is a lot of research that continues to affirm how important sleep is to our mental and physical well being.

 

4.      Track what you have been doing and have a planner

The Leadership Society of Arizona has developed a Time Tracker spreadsheet to help our students track what they have been doing 24/7. The spreadsheet can be used to track activities for every 30 minutes, and over time, be able to show overall time spent for each activities weekly, monthly, and yearly. This tool is crucial to help organizing a student’s life for several reasons:

  • It is easy to use – students only need to plug their activities in the spreadsheet, all other analyses are done automatically by the system.
  • It does not require drastic change – the spreadsheet only helps the students see clearly their activities and patterns in their life to better understand who they are.
  • It helps with recalling events – by documenting all activities, students would be able to recall what they have done quickly which most people have troubles with doing it.
  • 100% spreadsheet users reported to have their wasted time decreased – when one is able to see how much time he wasted, he will adjust based on his capability. However, we have observed that all of our users were able to cut down their wasted time by 50%.

The time tracker tool allows a student to track his activities over a long period of time

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self.” – Ernest Hemingway

 

Conclusion

Being organized helps improve our productivity, healthiness, and successfulness. Most of us are unorganized to a certain degree, hence, changes are needed in order for us understand life and be comfortable with our unique growing process. The Leadership Society of Arizona has developed multiple structures to help our students to be more organized. Our structures do not require the student to drastically change which usually cause even more stress, but simply help them see reality and propose changes based on who they are and at their own pace.

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