Organization and Concentration

Organization and Concentration are two of the most important skills to master in my life’s stress management. And I know now more than ever that this is true. I suppose that during the writing of this particular paper I was fit to get a real life stress test. It happened only moments after I had finished this paper about organization and concentration. I didn’t start working on it until the day it was due. After finishing a writing assignment that needed some fine tuning from the week before. I finished up at 5:00pm on the day that it was due. That isn’t bad considering I had only one paragraph typed, and a few points to include written in my notebook, and an outline that was part of my organizational plan earlier that day.

I sighed a big sigh of relief. I felt I had a well written and well organized paper typed with a plan to help me organize my papers and projects in the future. Suddenly, my thoughts were interrupted with the sounds of angry voices coming from the dining room.  I left my laptop in the living room for a moment to attend to my children. It turned out they had temporarily forgotten how to share something. It was time to pack up and get to class. I came back to the computer, and forgetting what I was doing, closed Microsoft Word. And when it asked me if I wanted to save my work what did I click? You guessed it, I clicked “No”. Well, had I been more organized I would have saved my work right along as I was writing it. And had I kept my concentration I would have clicked “YES” instead of no.

I stared at the screen. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t get upset, it wouldn’t help. I couldn’t retype it, I didn’t have the time. I felt helpless and hopeless, mad and sad, all at the same time. And now that I am here writing about my heaven sent lessen, I recognize that this is what stress does to me. It paralyzes me, discourages me and makes me just want to quit. It is my mission as I am writing this paper on September 12, 2008 that I am committed to finish this core program and I am NOT going to do this to myself again. I do not want to ever feel that tightness in my stomach again! I will have a plan and I will form better habits, so here goes. Since organization and concentration are very much related, I have to have a plan including steps for conquering both.

The first issue to resolve is concentration, because if I can’t focus then I can’t stay organized. And what’s the point of doing the work to get organized if I don’t follow through and stay organized.

1.      Set the right amount of time = 1 hour- 1 ½ hrs. everyday.

2.      Set the right atmosphere = quiet, well lit, space to spread out papers and books. = Dining room, during Ryan’s naptime,

3.      No snacks or other variable distractions are to be on the table, only schoolwork.

The following steps are what I have come up with for my work to be divided evenly and beginning the process the day after receiving writing assignments. (Working the day it’s due didn’t work so well.)

Friday

1.) Write down my main idea. Get a sort of introduction established that can be reaffirmed in the conclusion.

Saturday

2.) Write questions to be answered, facts to be researched, and points I need to make.

Sunday

3.) TYPE an outline to put it in order.  Click “save”

Monday

4.) Do research if necessary, typing out references as they are used, and have Rough Draft typed out. Click “save”

Tuesday

5.) Finish the paper, including title and reference pages. Click “save”

Wednesday

6.) Read my paper one more time all the way through and make and necessary changes. Click “save” and then “print”

We are the most connected generation in history. We have no more excuses to not stay in touch thanks to voicemail, email, snail mail, texting, Windows Instant Messenger, and myspace. We have no more excuses to be uninformed because of the internet and its countless resources on just about any subject that your mind can think of. However, the wealth of this communication is limited to our own ability to discipline ourselves and prioritize our responsibilities.

As very capable student I really can’t accept underachievement. Bad things are going to happen. But someone once told me that you can’t understand the good until you’ve been through the bad. And now I have my simple plan for avoiding such bad. And I will read it every Friday before beginning my assignments. This paper became a lesson that will help me along the way.