The holiday period always holds a unique set of challenges for us Dyspraxics. As well as the perilous ice and snow, which is an inevitable trip down the road of the icy cold bum, there are innumerable things to remember, social occasions to attend and gifts to wrap. After the stresses and joys of Christmas, I always find it refreshing to turn to the New Year as the opportunity to finally ‘sort my life out’. Inevitably, it never really works out like that.
The simultaneous downfall and brilliance of New Years Resolutions is that they are so unremittingly hopeful. The points of self improvement hastily scrawled on a soon-to-be lost piece of paper indicate a more organised, effective and generally better you. This is an enticing prospect, yet in practice always ends up being overwhelming and eventually disappointing. I still stand by the fact, however, that New Years Resolutions hold the excellent opportunity to see what isnt working in your life, and to think about ways to change this. The key to seeing this through is pragmatism and realism.
So, I have decided to compile a list of small adjustments you can make to improve your organisation in 2018. Small and sensible, these ideas aim to show you how slight changes can make a big difference when you set your mind to it!
- Write everything down, as soon as you think of it.
One of the key features of dyspraxic minds is how quickly we forget information we are given. Think about times when you’ve been given instructions to complete a task in school or the workplace. By the time they’ve got to the second point, I’ve reliably forgotten what theyre talking about, or the first thing they’ve said. This might seem like a small struggle, but in situations such as the workplace, it can be embarrassing. When it comes to attending appointments and organising your life, this too presents a challenge: ever been given a doctors appointment and instantly forgotten when it was booked for? To solve this problem, I have one place where I write down any information given to me that seems important. If you always have your phone to hand, notes is a great place to do this. As someone whose phone is perennially out of charge or broken, I choose to carry a notebook at all times. This means that when you are struggling to remember an important date or piece of information, you know you will have recorded it somewhere. The key to this trick is consistency: Always put it in the same place, always keep the mechanism of storage with you or in a special place, and always write important things down!
2. Set aside time for the small, boring stuff
My disability mentor reccomended I set aside a time in the day to deal with all the small admin tasks that need to get done. She called this ‘admin time’, and it has been a absolute saviour. First things first, find a time fo day when you are reliably free. Next thing to do – put it in your calendar on your laptop and/or phone and set a reminder to come up every day. Another consideration is to write down what you need to do during admin time – booking trian tickets, emailing your employer back, doing some washing – when the need arises. For example, if you recieve an email on the go but dont have time to respond, make a quick note on your phone (in the admin time event is a good place to put it!) or wherever you write down important things to remember (see above point), so that you remember to do this during your admin time. This also means that you get all of the irritating, boring stuff over and done with in one concise time period, meaning you dont have to worry about these tasks escaping you. This method takes a little while to make a habit, but once it is, its absolutely amazing!
3. Break it down
Ever needed to complete a daunting task but just can’t get yourself to start? Try breaking down the daunting challenges in your life into a series of small, achievable steps and giving each step a time for addressing it. This method works wonders when you’re stuck in a rut, because the tasks set are easier and less intimidating, giving you a feeling of success on completion that makes you want to keep going and finish the task.
I will soon be uploading a bullet journal tour to show how I use journaling to organise my life and work. For now, though, I’ll just explain a little about the concept. The above tips are all very well and good, but a journal is the place where they can all be tied together and stored with ease. Take the breaking down of tasks. This is something that can be done on paper, and then each section scheduled in to your planner in your journal. Keeping a journal has been one of the best decisions of 2017, and I couldn’t recommend it strongly enough.
I really hope you enjoyed these tips. Comment below your own organisation tactics!