Having Thoughts About a New Career
I am fanatic about organization – a bit compulsive, to be honest. I have gone through a number of different calendaring systems in my life, from simple stuff I did on graph paper to make sense out of my college schedule to things like DayTimer, Franklin/Covey, the venerable ol’ Filofax, Priority Management System (spent a couple hundred of my own dollars on that one), my current favorite is Circa (more later on why that’s important).
I didn’t use to be quite this, uh, deranged. It got started in the second quarter of my first year in college. I had tested out of my freshman year so I was already a sophomore and I was determined to graduate in 3 years, but still have fun, and work ten to fifteen hours a week as the Student Assistant to the English Dept. Secretary. I often joked that I was engaged to the ditto machine and cheating on him with the Xerox copier. I got about 5 hours of sleep a night. On a ‘lazy’ night, that is.
I was in choir, drama and taking a full load of academics in the Honors at Entrance program. I had already declared a double major in English Lit. and Political Science. I was cracking under the stress.
I went to the bookstore on campus and found a little book about time management. I read it through. I got some highlighters and read it again – this time I started highlighting the things I was going to do. I went out on a shopping trip for supplies the next day. I won’t go into details but it saved me. And, I’ve never looked back. I’ll just say one thing – I scheduled myself in 15 minute increments. Every thing I did, all day – I even scheduled sleep…ok, that was a euphemism – let’s just say my boyfriend didn’t know he was on a schedule.
And how does Dawno organize her life today?
I have color coded, alphabetized, tabbed and labeled folders for everything I do at the office. Red is personal (reviews, promotion letters, awards), yellow was employee relations when I did HR, purple are completed projects, green are vendors under consideration for one program, blue are the vendors in phase one of a different program, orange are the ones in phase two. There are more colors – I’ll just stop there, though.
I use these folders with multiple inside dividers and two-hole punch brads at the top – in all the available colors, as well. This is for when I have multiple document tracking to do on a specific project.
My computers have dozens of folders. My work email has dozens of mailboxes and filters. My personal Gmail, well it does a good job all by itself so I don’t have to organize it.
I have Post-it notepads in all sizes and colors. I use them for huge wall mounted project maps.
I think you get the point – I won’t bore you with the closet…but just think about what one can do with organizing by color, short vs. long, seasonal vs. year round…shoes! Oh, goodness…excuse me, I need to fan myself.
Back to Circa. I need some paper refills for my Circa notebooks. I go to the Levenger catalogue. I decide to peruse the other pages and see something I want to put on my wish list. I also go to this page thinking I might just buy it for myself and tell the SO to get me the other one for my birthday (Christmas is already shopped for). Now, scroll down a bit on that last link’s page. There’s a graphic in the middle of the page. It says “International Association of Professional Organizers.” *faint*
I revive myself. Why had I never heard of these guys before? Could I be turning my obsession into a profession? I’m a teensy bit excited now. How I would love to spread the joy of compulsive color coordination and evangelize the best organizing choices for pen drawers (By color? Size? Width of point? How about by length? Am I deranged? You do have a pen drawer, right?)
I don’t like the idea of doing home organization for people. But business organization – be still my beating heart. Seminars – evaluations – consulting…oooh, I’m nearly dizzy just thinking about it.
And, if I did go this route – I could WRITE organizing books!! I’m inspired.