Eliminating Stress Through Preparation


I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll say it again, I am the master of procrastination. If I know that I have an hour or two of spare time in the morning before something’s due, I’m the type of person who will set their alarm a bit earlier than normal and finish the project or assignment (or blog) the morning that it’s due to avoid doing it the night before. Throughout all of high school and college I would wait until the last possible minute to study for tests or exams rather than taking my time to fully prepare. It’s not something I’m proud of, it’s just the way I operate; I’ve always been this way.

One thing that I’ve noticed over the years is that the longer I wait to complete something, the harder it gets to complete and the more stressed I become. Who would’ve thought? But lately I’ve been trying to get better and plan ahead. I’m a fairly organized person, but completing tasks ahead of time is where I struggle the most. I have trouble buckling down and forcing myself to complete a task that I know could be done later on.

What’s funny about this topic is that I started writing about it last week, before I knew what Mel was writing about yesterday (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out her blog from yesterday!), even though it might seem like we planned it out! Today I thought that I would outline a few different things that I’ve come to realize on my journey to becoming a more prepared and organized person. Once you give the following a quick read, I encourage you to leave a comment outlining how you keep yourself organized and prepared!

Remind yourself of the stress. When I try to start something ahead of time and I feel like postponing it until a later date, I remind myself of all of the times that I’ve done the same thing in the past and the added stress that I ended up feeling as a result. I’ll use my blogs as an example. My blogs are posted on The A Dot every Wednesday morning. It isn’t uncommon for me to start my blog a week ahead of time and then wait until Tuesday evening or even Wednesday morning to finish it. Since I’ve joined a volleyball league that plays every Tuesday night, I know that if I don’t finish it ahead of time I won’t have time to complete it on Tuesday nights. I’ve decided that I’m going to try blocking off an hour each week to work on my blog and complete it for the next week!

Attempt to declutter wherever and whenever possible. Being prepared and organized is difficult when your workspace is a cluttered mess. If you constantly find yourself losing important documents or misplacing your files for the meeting that’s starting in five minutes, take it as a sign to block off some time to declutter and organize your space. Taking a few moments to put things back where they belong and find a spot for the items that don’t have a home will do wonders. Once everything’s put in its place, make it a point to keep up with it. Rather than simply putting things down when you’re done using them, put it back in its rightful place instead! This will help eliminate the clutter buildup in the future.

And lastly… 

Practice makes perfect. Much like anything else, being a prepared and organized person takes practice; it’s something that must be learned over time. Expecting to be a ‘good’ preparer or organizer overnight is unrealistic. Give yourself some time to adjust to being one of those ‘plan ahead’ type of people and get used to the extra time that it takes. Even though it may seem like a waste of time at the beginning, you’ll start to quickly realize that taking a bit of extra time to prepare saves you a lot of stress and panic in the end!


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