People often presume that being organised is something that you just are, rather than something you become. We presume that these kind of traits are inherent to the way we are born, rather than something that we learn. This means, that whenever people are challenged to be more organised they argue that they “just aren’t that way.” However, I’d argue that these kinds of people have the wrong view of the purpose of being organised.
My first year of university, and my final year were variably different in how I organised myself. In my first year, I didn’t fly by the seat of my pants through my course, but I didn’t exactly plan my time well. The amount of effort I put into managing my commitments was minimal.
Past me, happily went through my first year of uni knowing when my assessments were due but not really doing anything about them until just before they were due. I’d ‘save’ all my readings (that I needed to do for my assignments) until mid-semester break and do them all over a week – only then to need to do the same thing again two weeks before semester ended.
Similarly, when I started working four days a week in my first year, I’d put off doing anything because I was tired, wanted to spend time with my friends, had other events on, wanted to watch a movie or any other form of procrastination. These habits continued onto my second year, where life wasn’t so cruisy. I had a car accident and a close relative of mine was diagnosed with the early stages of cancer. My procrastination when things were okay, meant that when things were rubbish, I fell far behind.
It became difficult to commit to anything outside of uni work within those weeks of assessments. I’d prioritise finishing my assignments rather than going to church, bible study or 1-1s. Yet, I’d not have a problem with bailing on assessments for movie trips, naps or watching copious amounts of TV.
I learnt that putting more effort in to make sure I managed my responsibilities meant that the more hectic life got the less likely I was to be overwhelmed. I was able to end semester with next to nothing to do, and didn’t dump “extra” commitments like ministry.
Future me is unlikely to want to do what present me is putting off.
There will always be things that you cannot deal with by being organised, but you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle if you stop pretending that it’s just something you can’t be.
Don’t put things off for tomorrow, that you can do today.