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The Benefits of Organizing Your Life: Advice From a Once Not-So Organzied College Girl

Thursday, September 24, 2015 Mykah Williams

I want you to imagine this scenario, you're a college student, you're taking at least 16 credit hours of classes, and on top of that you're working at least 20 hours a week. You're physically exhausted, mentally-drained, and just plain busy with no time to yourself. Oh, what's that? This is pretty similar to your actual life? Well, the good news is you're not alone.

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In the Chicagoland area alone, there are over 670,000 college students fighting the same daily struggles you are. You know, like getting up out of bed in the morning. Or choosing to make own your dinner instead of pigging out in the subway that's a grand total of 20 feet from your dorm room (Hmm? No, of course I'm not referring to myself, jeez). Whether we'd like to believe it or not, everyday is full of decisions that will affect our tomorrow, and its important that we spend a little time mapping things out so that we don't get lost in the chaos of it all.

This is why I, finally, decided to do something I have been putting of for the past 3 1/2 years of my college experience: get organized. And I mean really organized.

Once upon a time I thought "being organized" meant having the ability to make a mental list of the days plans in your head, spoiler alert, it's not.

This past week the theme of organization has followed be everywhere. We discussed it in several of my classes and I had a lengthy conversation with a very organized friend about what she does to stay on top of her very busy life.

Here are the most helpful tips I've gotten:

1. Use a calendar! Need to remember to do something? Write it down. I know, this one seems like a bit of a "duh", but I'd bet there's a good chance that you've let an important activity become an afterthought before just because you forgot to pencil it into your calendar. And fun fact, writing something down actually does improve your memory of it! So chances are, you might not even need to look back at your calendar.

2. Make sure you schedule you time, that's really just for you. This one took me awhile to really understand, but whether you think you need it or not, alone time is incredibly beneficial to your mental health. Taking 20 minutes of of your day to read, meditate, etc, can help you to clear your mind and ease stress.

3. De-clutter your spaces. A room or car full of unnecessary materials can really cloud up your creative vision. Have a dresser covered in products you don't ever use? Get rid of em'. You'll be surprised how much the lack of stuff opens up your space, suddenly life seems a little less congested.

4. And finally, I know this one is difficult, try to end your habits of procrastination. You might not want to admit it but chances are there is something you are putting of because you just plain don't want to do it. My advice to you is, just do it anyway. Are you experiencing stress and  you don't seem to know where it's coming from? Good chance its that paper you should've started last week, don't wait any longer and end up panicking the day before it's do! Getting projects done ahead of time leaves you more time to tie up loose ends and relax in the long run.

These are just a couple small pieces of advice but they will come to make a very huge difference in your life, I hope these tips will help you, my fellow students and full-time workers! Good luck this semester!

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