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Student Blog: Buckle Up and Buckle Down

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The world is opening back up, and the best thing to do is take a moment for yourself.

Student Blog: Buckle Up and Buckle Down

The world is opening up, and with all the excitement and possibilities there are also new commitments and expectations. As my schedule fills with re-openings and responsibilities I have been taking the time to organize myself and create plans for the future. Organization is the most important aspect of continued and reliable success, especially within the performing arts. Structure, deadlines, and notepads may not be the first things that come to mind when thinking of the artistic process, but without them, projects and performers would fail to launch their ideas and talents. Different systems of organization compliment different productions and lifestyles, and preferences can change over time. Specific and regimented advice is not for every task, so broad guidelines are more helpful for a larger audience.

It does not matter where, when, or how, but I rely on writing everything down. This is such a common point of failure though it seems so common sense. You are always told about the value of a notepad, but people rarely take the moment to get thoughts out of their head and into the world. I started writing down important information as a way to wind down from the day, because if the reminders and deadlines lived somewhere other than my mind, they did not need to extensively occupy my head. Lately, I have loved using Stickies on my laptop to keep track of my tasks since I am reminded of them when I open my computer, and I enjoy deleting sections once completed. Erasing important plans was also a very satisfying action when I used a white board to keep track of events. You can drive yourself crazy with all of the different ways to record the information, so I recommend writing briefly and frequently so that it is easy to add quick notes.

The most important parts of my life I write down on my calendar. I have almost an unhealthy obsession with my calendar and could go into great detail on the types of events, notifications, and color-coded systems I created. The most important part is that when I open my calendar on my phone, I can clearly see what I have to do and easily add new events to my configuration. Some of the biggest scheduling frustrations come from unclear calendars because I can miss an event and accidentally overbook myself; it happens more often than you would expect!

When you have written everything down, and you look at your schedule, life can become extremely overwhelming. Rather than panic or shut down, I recommend asking for help. Reaching out to others can be one of the most relieving parts of planning your days, and when you think you can't do it all, there is always someone to help carry the load. When you tell a trusted friend or relative what you need to be successful, you are enabling and focusing on your success so that nothing falls through the cracks. Mental health is such a large part of organization, and in order to continue setting goals and following plans you will need support from others at times. Strength is not managing everything with independence, but instead, having an understanding of your needs and building bravery to advocate for your wellbeing.

In my personal experience, organization guides and advice have always been phrased as a way for you to mimic the success of someone else, rather than explore your own path and needs. Everyone goes through life with different perspectives and experiences, therefore everyone should find organization strategies that compliment their own lifestyles. It can seem time consuming and pointless in theory, but in practice, proper planning can make life so much easier to manage. Someone who is organized is able to adapt quickly in ways that will still allow them to be successful in their endeavors. Organization is something that I am constantly improving within my life, and when I become busy and overwhelmed, I am appreciative of the moments I spend keeping everything in order.


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From This Author Student Blogger: Grace Cutler