Archives for posts with tag: organize

I have been swamped at work lately! It’s been going well, though; I’d much rather be busy than bored. My new assignment is working out and everything is starting to come together. I’m getting myself organized and I’m starting to feel like I’m swimming instead of slipping underwater! The longer I work in the academic publishing field, the more I realize how important organization is to me, not only in my career but in my personal life.

One of the things I started doing almost every weeknight for the past year or so is laying out my clothes the night before work. I can’t tell you how much of a difference this makes in my morning–I’m less stressed because I already know what I’m wearing that day. Because it makes my life so much easier, I’ve been forcing myself to do this every weeknight so that I can save time getting ready in the morning and face my day with little to no pre-stress!

I also do the same thing with food, though this is less strict for me. I try to plan my meals ahead of time when I go food shopping, and then figure out my week based on my meals once I get home. I don’t know about you, but I’m at my most cranky at the end of the day when I walk in the door after work. I’m tired, I’m trying to de-stress, and I’m thinking about everything I still need to do before the day is over. Oh, and I’m usually starving. The last thing I want to think about is preparing an elaborate meal for myself, so I make sure that I’ve prepared the night before or that morning. I’ve either defrosted something, food is waiting for me in the crock pot, or I have some sort of plan for dinner. This also prevents me from overeating and staying healthy.

I remove clutter from surfaces I use all the time, such as my coffee table and bedroom dresser (and floor…). I hate clutter–it puts me in a frame of mind that I don’t like, so I’ve been trying to be more minimalist with my things recently. I don’t know if the open floor plan at work is seeping into my home life, but the lack of stuff is one of the things I like the most about our office. It’s much harder for someone to keep too much with them all day since they have to lug it around and put it away at the end of the day.

I’ve found that the more I organize things to suit my needs, the happier, calmer, and more productive I am. What I outlined above doesn’t work for everyone (I know–one of my closest friends swears she actually thinks more clearly when she’s surrounded by her work), but work out a system for your life. It helps!

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The insanity that is my life right now is incredible. Packing, throwing things away, donating…it never ends! Or at least it seems like it doesn’t. And I don’t even have that much stuff! I’ve been feeling very overwhelmed recently, most likely due to the fact that instead of having a nice set of appointments or things to do that will happen in an orderly fashion (because that always happens, right?), I’m running all over trying to get things done! I finally scheduled my big moving day, the day where I will move my furniture into a storage unit until I can officially move into my new place. The most comforting part of that is now I know the big stuff will be over and done with by next weekend. The rest of it, the cleaning and throwing things away, can be done fairly quickly after that.

Throughout all of this craziness, I feel like I need more alone time than usual. I like to be around people, but after a big outing, party, or get-together, I find the prospect of some me-time very inviting. Usually stress brings out more of a desire to be alone and I find myself reading more often or watching movies and not talking for hours. It’s very nice. It helps me collect my thoughts, lay them out on the table (so-to-speak), and sift through them. It also helps me forget for awhile, if that’s what I feel I need to do.

Sometimes my overall mood hangs on these alone-times. Sometimes I only need one of them in a span of a few weeks. Either way, I’ve learned to listen to myself and take some personal time if I’m starting to get crabby.

I know this time won’t last forever, nor do I want it to, because I know I can’t cocoon myself away from the world forever. I think too much alone time would also drive me batty :). For now, though, I welcome the solitude so I can recharge my batteries and devote all of my mental energy to thoughts of moving!

What about you, how do you recharge? How often do you feel like you need to be alone?

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One of the first things I promptly forgot when I started my new job two weeks ago is to STAY ORGANIZED. A lot of information has been coming my way since day one and I haven’t been as vigilant as I usually am with putting things in their proper place, keeping track of correspondence, and writing down anything and everything that seems important to remember. Now, I’m not just throwing caution to the wind and taking each day as it comes, but my usual level of organization has been lacking.

In my current position, I work on academic journals and I keep track of correspondence between myself and authors, editors, typesetters, and many others who are integral to the publication of articles. I don’t believe for a second that my ways of staying organized are going to work for every person in every industry, by any means, but I thought I would share what I do in case it does help someone else out there! Below are the three things I adhere to religiously so that I stay organized, sane, and confident in the workplace:

  1. In my last job, I would keep a daily planner and write down my daily and weekly tasks and adhere to that religiously; in this new position, I don’t think a planner will work as well. Instead, I’m using a regular blank notebook to keep track of tasks, but I’ll also be using more Excel spreadsheets and databases to keep track of my work. Think about what you do each day and how you do it–what kinds of tools do you use? What do you think you can use (or stop using, for that matter!) to make your life better/easier/less stressful?
  2. Now that I have 2 years of experience at a different company doing similar work, I have at least a rough idea of what to expect in this new position in the coming months. My advice is, if you can, plan ahead for this; if you are given a task at work, think about similar tasks you completed at your previous position. What steps did you take to resolve a particular issue? How did you prevent problems from occurring? Usually, you can apply rough ideas to your current position and then revise as needed.
  3. Keep your email organized from the beginning. Maybe this sounds way too Type A, but I promise you will feel less overwhelmed and stressed if you don’t have 679 unread emails just languishing in your inbox. Create a few folders in your inbox to keep track of correspondence and delete unnecessary messages as soon as possible to cut down on clutter. This also makes it quick and easy to retrieve old correspondence regarding a particular job or problem.

Does this help? Or do you have different ways of staying organized?

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Things have been crazy busy at work recently and sometimes gathering the strength to begin a new week can seem impossible. I’ve discovered that if I just dive in to work Monday morning (by reading and answering emails immediately, immediately completing important tasks first, and making a list for the rest of the day), my day suddenly becomes much more productive. This carries over into my personal life, too: if I’m having a successful day at work, I’ll come home and make a healthy dinner or dive into other projects with more enthusiasm.

I didn’t realize it, but I start preparing for Monday morning on Friday afternoon. About a half hour before I leave for the weekend, I take all the clutter off of my desk (which usually means copies of journal issues that I’ve consulted throughout the week), put everything where it belongs, and wash my coffee and water cups. Then, when I come in Monday morning, I almost forget that I’ve done that and am surprised by my neat, organized desk. I’m much more apt to begin work immediately if I don’t have to wade through old papers and journals before I get my first cup of coffee.

If I open my email right away and begin going through it, I’ll get a few small things done. I even feel more positive after completing tasks first thing in the morning. My brain very much likes lists and checking tasks off of them and even checking off two or three smaller tasks gets me ready for bigger tasks. I have the ability to keep myself down and out, but if I decide that I won’t be that way, then I won’t.

I hope everybody had a wonderful Easter weekend. Or, if you don’t celebrate Easter, then I hope you had a nice, spring-like weekend :).

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