Order To It All

OrganizingI tend to believe I am a very observant person. Some may argue against this belief, but that’s okay. Whenever I enter someone’s office I scan the space; I look at the pictures on the wall, what books are on the shelves, the “to do” list written on whiteboard, the decor and then the desk.

For many, how one keeps one’s desk or workspace is an indication of the level of organization. If the desk or space is in disarray,  the assumption is that the person is extremely unorganized, dishuffled, and stressed. On the other hand, if the desk is neat and orderly, the assumption is the individual who occupies the space is military sharp; every piece of paper has it’s place and all ducks are in a row.

I found that this is not always the case. I know some people who have piles of files on their desk  in what appears to be  in no particular order whatsover. Yet, when I ask them for something, they go directly to correct pile, pull from the middle of the pile and within seconds have just what I requested.

Organization systems are personal and regardless of the method used, being organized is of great importance. I once heard someone say, “if you know where everything is then you are organized.” Hmmm….

Like most principals, I have a thousand and one things to accomplish this year; some huge projects that require a massive team effort and some daily routines that are vital to the operation of my school. However, I must improve my level of organization this year.

How will I do it? Will I immediately file papers away as they come across my desk? Will I answer the multiple emails that come in right away? I am not sure if these strategies will solve the problem, but the one thing I must do is organize my thoughts.

When I first became an administrator I adopted a practice that I watched our former head football coach use for years: he kept a pocket-sized notebook and three colored pens with him at all times. Whenever we met, he would pull out his notebook and share his ideas, answers to questions, and questions he had. He would also jot down notes while we were on the practice field. To this day, he uses this strategy. I did this for at least three years and I was so much more organized. My responsibilities are must greater now than they were then so why not try it again?

In this digital age, I want to use a pocket-sized notebook and three colored pens to organize my thoughts? Hey, I am not ashamed…

Be Great,


2 thoughts on “Order To It All

  1. I think the notebook with the three pens is a great idea.

    For me, it honestly depends where I am in my lesson/unit as to how one will find my desk. Sometimes it is very organized, otherwise it is organized chaos. I think organization is an issue every educator faces.

    I’ll be curious to hear how your organization goes this year.

  2. As someone who has lived with piles all her life, I love the phrase “if you know where everything is then you are organized.” Although the room looks great every time I clean up the piles, that’s when it takes me forever to find something! I can now say that I AM organized (just messy…)

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