How to stay organized, no matter what

One day, at my first job out of college, I was called into my boss’s office.

“Kerri, you’re not organized.”

Excuse me?

“What you’re doing isn’t working, you need to find a new way to stay organized.”

She was right. I wasn’t organized. I thought I was, but I wasn’t. This was my wake up call. Ever since that day I’ve worked hard to ensure I’m never called out on my lack of organizational skills again. Here are a few of my tips for getting and staying organized.

Use one and only one calendar

This tip comes more from my mom than me, but it’s probably one of the greatest tips I’ve ever received when it comes to organization. You can’t be organized if you have dates and important information in multiple places. If you have to write things down, then use a planner. If you prefer to use your phone or computer, then you use those. But pick one calendar and stick to it.

Set reminders

If I don’t write something down, I forget it. I always have, this is why I set reminders. I use my phone as my one calendar and its ability to set reminders has saved me more than once from missing a deadline. I set reminders for everything: when a project is due, when I need to leave to meet a friend for dinner, when to pay my bills, when to brush my teeth (just kidding). You get the picture. Reminders can keep you on track, especially when you have multiple projects in the works.

Create tasks

Just like you can’t eat a pizza in one bite, you can’t tackle a project without first breaking it into pieces. I use tasks to divide up big projects into easy to achieve steps. This could mean creating a daily reminder until the project is finished or flagging related emails. I treat every step as a task.

Now if you ask my colleagues, I’m probably one of the most organized people on our staff when it comes to deadlines and tracking progress on projects. My organizational skills are something I take pride in, but I’ve had to work for it. Organizational skills are not one size fits all. Find what works for you and stick to it.

~Kerri Richardson, digital content coordinator

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About Kerri Richardson

Kerri Richardson is the digital content coordinator of the American Student Dental Association. She works with ASDA's website, email marketing, Instagram and Pinterest. If you have questions about the website, emails, or this blog, you can contact her at Kerri@ASDAnet.org.

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