Organize, Focus, Get It Done (Part1)
Easy as 1, 2, 3
No matter what you"re trying to do, there are three important steps you need to take:
1) Get organized.
2) Stay focused.
3) Get it done!
The trouble for kids is that each of these steps is actually a lot of little steps. But figuring out how to do them is a skill that will help you a lot in school and in life. Kids have many things to do each day. And each one of them follows this 1-2-3 process.
Take brushing your teeth:
1. Getting organized means getting where you need to be and gathering your supplies. To brush your teeth, go to the bathroom, get out your toothbrush and toothpaste, get your toothbrush wet, and then put toothpaste on it.
2. Staying focused means sticking with the task. Dentists say to brush for 3 minutes, so that means keep brushing, even if you hear a really good song on the radio or you remember that you wanted to call your friend. Concentrate and remember what the dentist told you about brushing away from your gums.
3. Getting it done! If you do steps 1 and 2, step 3 almost takes care of itself. Hurray, your 3 minutes are up and your teeth are clean! Getting it done means finishing up and putting on the finishing touches. With teeth brushing, that would be stuff like rinsing off your toothbrush and putting it away, putting the cap back on the toothpaste, and making sure there"s no toothpaste foam on your face!
Maybe you"re thinking, ‘I can brush my teeth just fine.’ If so, that"s great because it means that you can apply those same skills to school or any project you need to get done, like homework or cleaning your room.
Being organized is an important skill for school and life. When you"re well organized, you can stay focused instead of spending time hunting things down and getting sidetracked.
What does it mean to be organized? For schoolwork, it means having one notebook or place where you store all your assignments so you know what you have to do and when. Keeping clearly labeled binders or folders for handouts and keeping all your schoolwork neat and in a specific place — these are the main parts of organization.
For home stuff, being organized means having a place to put your things and putting them back as you go. It means hanging your coat up instead of dropping it on the floor or throwing it on a chair. It means keeping your schoolbag, your shoes, and your clean underwear in the same places so you always know where to find them.
Planning is part of being organized, too. Planning means deciding what you will do and when you will do it. Calendars, lists, and schedules can help you plan. You can buy or draw a calendar and keep it near your workspace.
Making a schedule or a ‘to-do’ list for yourself is a good idea. Looking at your list helps you keep track of what you need to do. Add new things as you get assignments, and check off things when you"ve done them. Use your list to help you decide which thing is most important to work on first.
If you have a big project, write the date it"s due on your calendar. But don"t wait until it"s almost due to start your project. Write it on your to-do list or your calendar in the weeks beforehand (this is called planning ahead!). That way, you won"t end up waiting until the last minute.
Work on a big project a little bit at a time. Not only will that mean less stress for you, but it will also lead to better work. Your teachers can tell when you"ve put thought and care into assignments, and when you dashed them off in a hurry before turning them in.
It takes some extra effort to organize yourself and your stuff. But once you"re organized, it feels great. The less time you spend hunting around for things or panicking about homework, the more time you have for better things, like reading a good book or playing.
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