Thursday, 14 November 2013

I Wasn't Born This Way: 5 Steps to the Organised Artist

When I was twenty-three I embarked on an around-the-world trip that I anticipated would last for at least a year and up to two...or maybe three. Who really knew? I was young, I had quit my jobs and the world was at my feet.

I had a stack of traveller's bibles: Lonely Planet books for South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Austalia. I had some savings. I had my CV printed. I had wanderlust.

What I did not have: organised packing skills.

Mere hours before my flight took off I was sitting in on the floor of my bedroom surrounded by every shred of clothing I owned, staring at an empty backpack. My mother swore off helping me because the stress was too much for her. I began to hyperventilate.

Eventually, somethings found their way into my bag and other things lay abandoned on the floor as I dashed out the door with my mother reckoning that the best she could hope for was that I would still have hold of my ticket and passport when we got to the airport. Against all odds, I did and I hadn't forgotten anything even remotely important in my panicked packing haze. I've even managed to survive the subsequent years and to coordinate an international move.

More than that, I've developed quite the reputation for organisation. I spent the last two years organising events for the Kingston Writing School, compiling and publishing pamphlet anthologies, co-teaching and generally keeping several projects on the go, while completing an MFA, a teaching qualification and writing a novel.

Then, a couple of days ago someone asked me for advice on how to be more organised. Me? My first reaction was to think, "There's nothing I can say about organisation - I'm the least qualified person to talk about organisation!"

Then I decided that, perhaps, I'm actually the perfect person to talk about it. Who knows better than I how a self-confessed scatter-brained caterpillar can transform into a orgnaised butterfly?

Here's how I did it in five steps:
Good dental hygiene is essential