Happy Friday, Badgers, and welcome to another edition of Firstie Fridays! Two weeks ago we talked about setting goals. I hope you’ve got yours recorded, because today we’re going to talk about how we can achieve those goals:
Firstie Tip of the Week: GET ORGANIZED!
Even if you’re not a spreadsheet-loving, Container Store-shopping, checklist-making crazy person like I am, you can still get organized. If you are that kind of organized person, let us perform the secret handshake and then get to color-coding.
Being an enthusiastic First Year, I definitely suffer from the disease known as Do All the Things-itis. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, though. If you’re having fun and it doesn’t interfere with your work, family, or other Muggle obligations, then I say do all the things you want to do!
With that said, it is PSA time. Since I am in the Do All the Things Club, that is the perspective from which a lot of my posts will be written. However, I hope that my suggestions can help everyone, regardless of the number of classes you turn in or the number of extracurricular activities you do. I love trying to do every class and every activity, but I don’t think that you have to Do All the Things to be a great player. Have fun and craft what you love, my friends! As long as you’re trying your best, you’re doing it right.
|If you stare at this picture long enough, a sailboat will appear.|
Confession: I have a First of the Month Planning Ritual that I get way too excited about. Don’t worry; I’m not going to get into it here. I play in 4 different competitive crafting groups on Rav, so my ritual is probably more involved than anyone wants to hear about. But if anyone ever wants to geek out with me over planning and my method of taking 60 different prompts and making 10 projects fit them all (those are randomly chosen numbers, but they’re not too far off base), please earburn me! I will geek out like you wouldn’t believe, and you might have some great tips for me! Right now, though, let’s focus on these tips:
• Gather all the information before you act. Before you get excited about a project and turn it in to the first class thread you read, take some time to read all of the prompts. Part of my planning involves gathering every single prompt from each of my groups in one place. The Den has a handy-dandy thread that does that for you already: the Pantry. After you check out the rest of the prompts, you may find that your amazing project works better elsewhere and that you can make another exciting project for that first class. Now you have two assignments turned in instead of one! That’s double the points!
|Twin badgers: achieving world domination, one "Aw!" at a time.|
• Prioritize. Advanced Studies and Quidditch are really exciting! They won’t help you keep your sorting priority, though, so make sure that you leave yourself enough time to turn in at least one class per month. Don’t wait until the last day of the term to start crafting your class. Someone might put a computer-freezing hex on you when you try to submit it, and you may not have enough time to counter it before the deadline. As a NQFY, I handed in a class on the last day of the term with 7 minutes to spare. I nearly had a heart attack. Do not do that to yourself!
• Speaking of deadlines…Pay attention to dates and times. It is heartbreaking to find out that you started a project one day too early or finished it ten minutes too late. You are playing with people from time zones all over the world on a site that keeps track of the exact minute that you post anything. Dates and times make a difference. Make sure you know what they are before you decide what to start on first. It may sound silly, but it doesn’t hurt to have a POT clock somewhere. Your wall doesn’t have to look like this:
|...but if it did you would be the coolest person I know.|
Still, it might help on deadline days to have an Internet tab open with Princess Onica Time displayed on it.
• Figure out what accountability method works best for you. Be honest now: if you make a checklist, will you stick to it, or will you just throw it away at the end of the day? If you’ll stick to it, you are awesome. If you won’t, you’re still awesome; you just need to find something that will help you tackle that to-do list. Find the organizational method that best keeps you on track with your to-do list and stick with it. Do you prefer checklists, spreadsheets, or calendars? Do you like some combination of the three, or do you work better with something else entirely? Maybe setting reminders on your phone helps, or maybe you are someone who likes to put sticky notes around the house. Use whatever works, my friends!
|To-Do Note #7: Google "how to bandage cat scratches."|
Okay! You’ve got your priorities straight and your deadlines figured out, and you’ve picked the way you’re going to keep track of it all. Now what do you do? Well, you make your checklist or your spreadsheet or your elaborate system of Post-It notes, and you stick to your plan. Focus on the top priorities first and work your way down, keeping in mind that due dates have an impact on the priority of projects. For example: if Quidditch is your second or third priority, but it’s due on June 3rd, then it moves up on the priority list over the classes that are due on June 30th. Then start with Priority One and knock those to-do's out!
This may sound like a lot – it may be a lot – but even if you just take away one little tip from this post, I think you will be happier with your crafting life. Getting organized helps you figure out what you want to make and when you want to make it. That knowledge leads to beautiful finished projects, which in turn lead to points! The theme of this term in Hufflepuff is “No points left on the table,” which I interpret to mean: “Don’t miss out on points that are rightfully yours.” Stay on top of deadlines by being aware of dates and times; know where you can turn in projects by reading all the prompts; prioritize your projects; hold yourself accountable. Doing these things keeps you and your projects organized, and if you’re organized, you’ll have a great chance of getting all the points that you deserve for being an amazing, Badgertastic crafter!
Thanks for reading, Badgers! Have a great weekend, and try getting organized when the new classes go up tomorrow! If you have any tips or questions, let me know in the comments!