Organize your Work Life to Increase your Impact

Let's be real, organization can be a struggle. Think about your office desk or computer desktop. If you're like most school counselors I know, it could probably use some tidying. I almost feel like it goes with the personality traits of counselors. While teachers are meticulously organized, counselors tend to be a little more scattered. I think it's because our schedules are ever-evolving, and we are invested in changing so many kids' lives that paperwork takes the backburner.

This leaves us feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

Why sticky notes are inefficient

Perhaps you're the exception to the rule, or maybe you don't see why it is a problem that you have sticky notes everywhere. 'It's a mess, but I know exactly where everything is!' Sound familiar?

The problem is that it takes too much time! You jot down some student notes on a sheet of paper beside you to 'save time', but you end up spending more time trying to find it later and transfer your handwritten notes to a digital version. I've been so guilty of doing this! Not to mention the potential to break confidentiality by having sticky notes everywhere for other students or teachers to see.

school counseling sticky notes

I've been there'

I used to have a clipboard where I would brain dump everything as it came in. Then at the end of the week I spent time inputting it into my digital systems. This data entry takes took too much time and I was basically writing everything twice! Plus if you've seen my bad handwriting you would know that I couldn't decipher half of it by the time I was ready to type it out.

Why digital organization is necessary

Getting your digital life organized is equally important. I'm sure you've saved several ideas from Pinterest or downloaded some resources you've purchased on Teachers Pay Teachers, only to not be able to find it later. It's such a bummer when you've paid for something only to be able to not find it when it's time to teach your class lesson or lead your small group.

The advantages of having a digital caseload and calendar

How great would it be to have an organized caseload and calendar?

A Google Sheet is a great place to keep your caseload information. You can track who has turned in permission slips, which teachers you need to contact, and the area of need for each student. Try organizing groups by color for easy access.

A Google Calendar is the perfect place to keep your schedule. (Check out my 5 strategies for scheduling here!) I love the idea of a beautiful paper calendar or planner, but a digital one is much more efficient. Do you ever have teachers ask you on the fly when you're coming into their class or when their student will see you? I used to always have to say 'I'll email you to let you know once I return to my office', only to be stopped by a kid or crisis on the way back and forget entirely. A digital calendar allows you to sync it with your phone or watch so you can give them a quick reply on the go.

A clear calendar = clear communication

Why spend time getting organized?

Being organized allows you to.

  • Increase your efficiency so you can maximize your impact (aka see more students!)

  • Spend less time searching for things, and more time doing the things!

  • Get the recognition you deserve!

counseling organization tips

How being organized can bring you recognition and help you advocate for your role

Do you ever feel isolated, undervalued, or unrecognized? You are not alone! It's almost territory that comes with the position given that we are often the only counselor at our school sites.

Being organized can show your colleagues the value your counseling program brings to the school. You'll leave them thinking, 'She's got it together! It always goes so smooth and efficient when I collaborate with her!'

When you are organized you can easily show the services you have provided by using your caseload, calendar, and notes. Demonstrating your impact is a great way to show the need for your position.

It takes a mindset shift'

Before you get down to physically organizing your desk take a moment to switch your mindset. Try to embody a person who is calm, organized, and has a place for everything. This exercise can be really powerful and help you to act like the organized counselor you want to be on your way to getting there!

Think of 3 areas where your counseling life would be easier if you were more organized and get ready to take action.

Download my Stress Free Organization Freebie and read this blog post for 5 organization strategies you can start today!

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