By Sydney Carter ’13, Wellness Communications Assistant
Life is messy. Clutter and chaos frequently overwhelm students trying to juggle multiple roles: student, friend, employee and the list continues.
Getting organized is a process worth investing time and energy in – it’s a way to clean up the clutter and establish order from the chaos.
Organization is an important skill for improving vocational wellness and relieving stress.
As Wellness @ Maryland stated in its kick-off blog for Vocational Wellness Month, “Vocational wellness refers to engaging in satisfying work, both paid and unpaid, that aligns with your interest, values and skills… planning intentionally for the work life you desire can alleviate the stress and anxiety you might feel.”
Organization is critical for intentional planning, and successful work.
To be masterful in the art of organization, it’s important to cater to your individual strengths. Below you’ll find organization tips and tricks that work for specific personalities and work styles.
Some people are visual, led by what they see. Others are more auditory and resonate with what they hear. Then there are people who are kinesthetic and thrive when they can be hands-on and constantly in action.
Consider these personality and work style-specific organization tips for living spaces, work environments and day-to-day events.
ORGANIZED AT HOME
If you are visual… use color. An article on organization for different personality types from Woman’s Day recommends color-coding the clothes in your closet, and using colorful bins for storage that coordinate with what’s inside.
If you are auditory… play music while cleaning. A little Mumford and Sons while scrubbing dirty dishes, or maybe grooving to Nicki Minaj during dusting, can increase productivity and motivation.
If you are kinesthetic… toss, recycle and donate useless or unused items from your living space. Old papers and textbooks can take up a lot of precious space in a residence hall, and ill-fitting clothes can crowd an apartment’s minimal closet space. Physically removing items that only enhance clutter keeps organization and activity levels high.
ORGANIZED AT WORK
If you are visual… make labels and boldly prioritize. Labeling everything around your desk and in your workspace, as a Psychology Today article offering organization tips from professional organizer Diane Albright states, “not only helps you stay better organized, it also helps others function more independently in your workspace.” Prioritizing what assignments need to be done with a number ranking and bold text can help visual people stay on track.
If you are auditory… really listen to what people are asking of you, and learn to say no. If you hear of a project up for grabs at work, or an extra component of a group project being assigned in class, and your workload is already weighty it is better to say no and not overload yourself with additional work. As Kris Wetherbee of Woman’s Day writes, “You tend to juggle many projects at once. Exercise your option to occasionally say no when asked to do things that are of low priority to you.”
If you are kinesthetic… arrange items based on their importance, and end your day with time devoted to tidying up your workspace. Albright in Psychology Today recommends keeping items used often close by and additional items stored either high or low to keep workspaces open and orderly. She suggests, “shelving, wall baskets, wall-mounted file folders, and wall hooks as great ways to go vertical.” It’s a wise idea to end your day with time devoted to putting things in their rightful place. “Schedule the last 15 minutes of the day for putting your desk or work space in order,” advises professional organizer and speaker Elisa Adam in Woman’s Day.
If you are visual… make to-do lists and schedules eye-catching and in your face. A decorative cork board with pinned reminders of upcoming events, or a sleek chalkboard with a weekly schedule can keep your eye on everything you have to do.
If you are auditory… use technology that communicates your schedule. Smartphones and online calendars have functions that alert you with sounds when an event is imminent or a reminder is due. For example, my iPhone playfully quacks to alert me that it’s time to head to the gym thanks to the native reminders app.
If you are kinesthetic… write reminders down in a notebook, and collect event announcements between the pages. Both Psychology Today and Woman’s Day recommend keeping a notebook at hand to jot down and collect information about your day-to-day activities.
No matter what appeals to you the most: sight, sound, touch or a combination the three, there is an organization tip and trick for you. Try one, a couple or all of our advice to decrease clutter, increase order and enhance your vocational wellness this month.
What personal organization tips and tricks do you use? What piece of our organization advice do you want to try?