I will be completely honest with anyone reading this article. I am an unorganized mess. I have too much shit on my desk. My floor is covered with clothes. Are they clean or dirty? Who can tell. I am constantly having to run around to find my notebooks for class and then I get to class and realize I grabbed the wrong one because all my notebooks are essentially the same color.
I have always assumed that everyone else has their shit together while I’m flailing like a kid swimming in the deep end of a pool, trying to get the attention of the hot lifeguard. (Anyone else do this? Just me? OK.)
But recently, thanks to many introspective illustrations on the millennial generation, I have realized that most people out there are dealing with an enormous amount of chaos in order to live their lives. So here are the steps to how I got myself organized a little more than usual.
1. Actually use that freaking calendar thing
We all have them on the 500 electronic devices that we carry in our backpacks. And they can all be synced together through the magic of the space cloud. Start using the calendar apps that are available to you. I finally started putting all my classes, auditions, work and rehearsal schedules and any appointments I have into the calendar app.
Having a clear, set out map for what your week will look like gets rid of so much anxiety over prioritizing what you have to do next. You will never have to forget anything that is coming up when you get 10 notifications from your calendar to tell you that your cat, Mr. Meowington III, has to be fed or he will die.
2. DOCUMENT EVERYTHING
Are there any other graduating seniors who have been applying for jobs every fucking day? Because I have been and sometimes it is really hard to keep track of what I applied to and with which company. I started using Google Sheets (much like Excel, if you are familiar) to keep a log of every job I apply for, on what day, what position and with what company. I include a link to the job posting, and if I get an interview or copy test I highlight that row of the sheet in red.
Actor friends can do something similar. I keep a diary of all my auditions so I know what pieces I used, what parts I was auditioning for and what the contract would look like for special reference. Believe me, documenting everything will make it so much easier to find the small details you need when figuring out what steps you need to make when finding jobs.
3. Declutter everything
“A clean house is a clean head,” as I am sure you have all heard 5,000 times. In reality, this isn’t the biggest tip on this list but getting rid of unnecessary shit is a great way to move toward the promised land of total organization. I found out that I still had notes from the Harry Potter class I took during my freshman year of college (true story, I’ll write about that later).
I threw out all my old notes that I wouldn’t need, got rid of some books that had passed their time and actually organized my dresser of clothes because I had been using it as storage space. When you have less crap in your life that you don’t need it is so much easier to get to the stuff that is actually useful to you. I never have to wonder if the dark space under my bed ate my audition book or if I just left it under that pile of clothes that is starting to smell like a barn. Clean it up and clean it out!
4. Designate your areas
This one is fun because it can be like a little game of hide and seek. Kind of. Find a spot where you can put your important items at the end of every day. For example, my backpack is always on the left side of the couch in my living room because I have to look right at that spot before I leave my apartment.
Put your stuff in the same spot so you will always remember where it is and there is never a mad dash to unbury anything from underneath a mountain of unpaid bills and the Pokemon cards you are still holding on to for some reason. Having these spots around your house for certain things will help to order the chaos around you and make it easier to get your shit together before you leave in the morning.