May 9, 2011 4:11 PM Subscribe
How can I become less scatter-brained?
posted by queens86 to Work & Money (10 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Help me get organized! So, it came to my attention today (and several days in the past) that my colleagues see me as disorganized. I am not exactly sure WHAT they see that makes them think disorganized, but I am agree I am not the most organized person on the planet. My coworker gave me a 5 on a 1-10 scale, but I am pretty sure he sees me as below average.
I am a first year high school teacher. I have lost a couple papers; on one occasion I am pretty sure my students tricked me by telling me I hadn’t assigned something I had (and I couldn’t remember if I had reminded them); my boss catches details in my planning that I overlook or forget to record.
I am also a pretty absent-minded person. I semi-regularly leave my keys in my boss’s office, walk in to talk with someone and leave my pen on their desk, or misplace my whiteboard markers. I once spent half an hour manically looking for my keys before realizing they were still in the door (this is an extreme case and not normal for me, though).
I have noticed that I have a problem completing a task through to the end when I am facing interruptions. I am not sure if it’s relevant, but if I am helping a student and another interrupts to ask me something, I often will stop what I’m doing to try and help them. I have noticed this at other jobs; when I was a barback, I would switch to another task (like clearing the bar) when I noticed it needed to be done, interrupting my current task (i.e., washing dishes). I have always been a multi-tasker and my dad says he remembers coming up to my room when I was in middle school and seeing me talking on the phone, doing my homework, listening to music and eating all at the same time.
I don’t think I have ADD. None of my teachers have ever suspected it and I can focus on reading a book for a couple hours without stopping if I am absorbed in it. I do have problems finishing a movie if I’m watching it on a laptop by myself. I took adderall recreationally a couple times in college (oops) and all it did was make me way more hyper and talkative.
Also, if I have a lot to do, I begin to internally freak out and can’t calm myself down to focus well. This happens rarely; only when I feel overwhelmed.
I never used a planner in college and never missed any classes, appointments, or assignments. This is the first time in my life that my lack of organizational structure has caused me problems. If it matters, I am pretty much 100% P on the Myers-Briggs scale.
Today my coworker told me that his old coworker ‘couldn’t hold down a job in the States’ because he was so disorganized (we work abroad). This scared me. My question is fourfold:
A) Is it normal to face organizational problems as a first-year professional employee?
B) How can I cut down on my absent-mindedness and become better organized?
C) Pretty much every job want ad I look at lists “excellent organizational skills” at the top of requirements. Am I screwed? Am I going to be that person who “can’t hold down a job in the States”? What are some job fields where amazing organization is NOT required, if they exist?
And finally …
D) Are organizational skills learned? Have any of you gone from hopeless absent-minded mess to on-top-of-it go-to person?