Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Having Thoughts About a New Career

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.


Thumper said...

It would be awesome if you could rurn something you're alrady spiffy at into a career. When there's nothing else to watch on TV I'll put on HGTV and watch Mission Organization and marvel at house the professional organizers can turn someone in-home landfill into a clean, nice-to-be-in space...if someone can do that for a business, it;s gotta be worth $$$$$$!

emeraldcite said...

I have piles. This pile has this stuff and that pile has that stuff.

I just remember where stuff is.

Of course, if said stuff isn't used for quite awhile, this filing method becomes worthless.

Dawno said...

If I did piles they'd be organized. all by color or size or thickness of the folders or whatnot.

Now my home office is not as organized. I wander in here to write and blog and post and haven't really gotten around to fixing it up.

Mark Pettus said...

I've often joked that I am a lesbian trapped in a man's body, but I now believe it's possible you are a gay man trapped in a woman's body, Dawno.

My computer is full of folders named Stuff and Junk and DesktopItems. Kind of like my kitchen drawers. I could use a professional organizer.

Dawno said...

ooh - my first job opportunity! What were you offering - Nicaruaguan minimum wage? After tips? Deal.

I'm actually doing some serious research and thinking about a business plan. If I didn't have a darn deadline at work I'd be further ahead.

My work computer has a series of folders also named Desktop and then a number. I'm up to Desktop5. There's just too much stuff to keep track of at work and not enough time to really organize it. That's why I have Google Desktop search, even if it allegedly slows things down - I don't notice it and it's saved my bacon more than once.

If I have to be trapped in a gay man's body, can he be a really handsome and rich one?

normaltrouble said...

I love it. I can plan and think organised, even look towards the organisation event horizon, even jump into the pool--but never to actually really follow through for longer than 3 weeks...I get overwhelmed.
I even have a few decluttering books, chockfull of different angles to approach the monster that is disorganisation in my life.
I think with your talent for organisation/writing, and hey, maybe you could use me as a pre-book guinea pig in some way, you could really have something there. Yay for Dawno being happily employed.