March 6, 2010

Thoughts on Organization and Planning

{love this mini-goal chalkboard from MaryKateMcDevitt}

Am I the only one who has totally different organization styles in my personal and professional lives? I hope I'm not alone. I've been noticing lately that I'm more organized at work, than at home, but even that level of organization is nothing impressive. In fact, at a training last week we had to come up with our "razzle dazzle" (something we feel we excel at) and our "razzle frazzle" (something we continually struggle with). We had to share with our table of teachers, and when I said "My razzle frazzle is organization," they looked at me like I was crazy. "How can you be a teacher and be disorganized??" Good question. Sometimes I don't know how I survive.

Organization does not come naturally to me. This is a problem when you're a special education teacher, responsible for writing detailed IEP's and keeping track of years of paperwork for each child. In fact, they assign paraprofessionals (teacher's aides) to help people like me keep track of it all. The only problem is, when they show up in my room, I'm not organized enough to tell them what they can help me organize. Usually I just say, "I have these papers..." and they nod and say, "you'd like a binder?" That's my go-to strategy for staying organized: binders. And sticky notes. I have them everywhere at work. At this point in the year, though, there are so many that I begin to lose them or get them mixed up. There are sticky notes on my desk, my overhead projector, my calendar, my computer, my clipboard, and even, the best of both worlds, sticky notes stuck to binders (good thing the staff work room keeps them in supply).

According to one personality test, I'm an ENFP--a person who dislikes detailed routine-oriented tasks and struggles with following through. ENFP's are also introspective, though, and I think I use self-reflection to cope with my organization problem. Since my first idea for organizing something will probably not be the most effecient, I'm often thinking a lot about it, revising the plan, cutting out the parts that don't work for me. I like to turn things into a project that I can feel good about accomplishing. It takes a lot of time, trial and error, and although that bugs me (there's so much to do!), it works for now.

I won't even get into my personal life organization issues. :) I do know that I'm going to have to quickly learn to love the following things that I currently despise:
*washing dishes
*grocery shopping
*organizing mail and bills
Ok, maybe I don't need to love these tasks, but they will be a real part of married life (good thing these jobs will also be shared jobs ;) )

Speaking of getting married, I've also learned a few lessons in this whole wedding planning business. The biggest one so far? Stop thinking, researching, weighing the pros and cons, and just do it! Just make decisions for crying out loud. This is obviously me, talking to myself in my introspective world, but it's something I could see others struggling with too. There is SO much out there on the internet, and it's scary to think about how many hours I've probably spent on the computer, reading blogs, checking out websites and copying and pasting pictures. Don't get me wrong, it's been a lot of fun, but I recently reached a point where I had to stop thinking and researching, and start doing. In past week, I've been feeling pretty productive. :) I can't believe it will soon be 4 months until we get married. The photo above is my attempt at wedding planning organization. See? A binder. :)


  1. I think you're doing great, but am sorry it stresses you out.

    Think about the fact that I was only engaged 5 months and realize you are WAY ahead of schedule ;)

    can't wait for that wedding!!

  2. wow you are way more organized than I will ever be..binders are even out of my league :)! I am so excited for you to finally be married, don't stress just have fun because honestly all eyes will just be on you and how gorgeous you are!

    ps. we planned our wedding in four months and I think it left for way less time to worry since we didn't have time. Your doing great and I agree with Jenny, your totally ahead of schedule!!

  3. Love this post, Rachel! Organization is definitely not my strong point either. THat is why I have my husband. He is the macro cleaner (organizer) and I am the micro cleaner (get all the gunk taken care of). It is a great balance. You saw my office at work. Yikes! Piles everywhere.