Organizing Your Life: Fantasy Baseball, TV News, and Tee Times

When I was in 1st grade my teacher, Mrs. Sherman (not even joking), called my parents into parent teacher conferences and sat them down, as if to tell them a huge secret. They sat down and asked how I was doing. She prefaced her remarks with, “Sherman is a very bright kid.” And then came the kicker. “But we all need to work with him to get him organized. His desk and work tends to be disorganized and messy.” My parents tried to hold back their laughter, and explained to Mrs. Sherman that this wasn’t really going to change all that much because it’s hereditary. No one in my family is organized.

I tell you that story because up until college I was messy and unorganized. I tried hard to not be a complete slob, but sometimes it didn’t work. I never misplaced my work, it just took an extra couple minutes to find the 5-page paper in the clutter. But when I got to college I was determined to change this. Not because I cared, but so much as the perception of being messy and unorganized, unfortunately equates to unreliability and dishevelment.  So, since the start of college, I have started to become more and more organized in most things I do. And trust me, it pays off with the work you do. The following are three examples of where being organized has helped me.

1. Fantasy Baseball – This is probably the only place I have ALWAYS been organized. It is the only way to do it. You can’t go into a draft and not know exactly who you want, if they are available in a snake-style draft or who you want at the right price in an auction-style draft. I memorized the magazines and online websites analysis of individual players and teams. Then, I ranked the top players at each position and at what price I valued them at. But it didn’t stop there. To this day, since I was in elementary school, I keep this up over the course of the season and off-season, following statistics and press conferences from front office people, players and managers.

2. Broadcast Journalism – I always knew that for news, a reporter must always be organized. Without being organized, a reporter can get lost. Not only physically, but mentally too. If you’re not organized, then you may not have story ideas for the pitch meeting. If you’re not organized then once you have a story, research can get lost, you lose where you’re supposed to go, and you don’t have phone numbers of sources to call. And all of this disorganization costs time. And the most important thing news, is time. Time management is the key! Whether it’s time before you leave the station, getting back to the station, or editing, it doesn’t matter because time is everything!

3. Strategic Communication – Whether you are doing public relations, marketing, advertising, or event management for a company, you need to be organized. You need to have all the answers or at least be able to get the answers quickly. You are a representation of a company and why would that company want you if you give off the perception that you and the company are unreliable, unorganized, disheveled and not professional? Currently, one of my big projects for Positive Impact Partners is to run a charity golf outing. The golf outing is at the very well respected Somerset Hills golf course and is for ex-NBA player and Seton Hall great Jerry Walker. Walker is raising money for his charity, Team Walker, which was started by his grandfather. So, to get ready for the outing, I need to register the attendees, confirm their attendance, put golfers in foursomes, collect donations, set up tee times and much more once I am at the outing. So I must be organized to carry through all of these tasks. If I misplace a golfer’s RSVP card or a check for a donation to the charity, guess what happens? (That is rhetorical, because I don’t even want to think about it.) Bottom line, the person’s registration I mess up would be angry, Jerry and his foundation will be angry, and then my bosses will be angry at me because the client is unhappy. And the worst would be that I would be embarrassed and angry with myself because it would be my own fault.)

But how do I organize myself? I know it is easier said than done, but there are certain programs and things that I do to make sure that I am organized.

  • The classic pen and paper – This is only effective if you have a folder, notebook, legal pad or pad-folio type of holder to keep the papers together.
  • Post-it notes/Stickies – Whether on the computer physically or inside the computer, to-do lists and reminders can be really helpful.
  • Microsoft Office/Any Word Processing Program (Especially Excel/Spreadsheet) – Whether you use Google or Microsoft Office, you should be using these programs to your advantage. I personally use Excel all the time at work to organize research, a client’s data, money issues, just to name a few. But, I also use Excel for fantasy sports and other odds and ends that I need to be organized by columns.
  • Folders – I don’t just mean physical folders to place handouts, business cards, and advertisements into, but computer folders. The documents folder on your computer nor your desktop, should have too many individual files on it. This can make everything cluttered and harder to find. So, I say reorganize everything, condense and remember to give it an original name to remember the file.
  • MindNode This is a new application for Mac. It is a different way of connecting things that you are doing and showing the connections of people by branches and colors. Check it out! I just organized my graduation requirements on the program. Below is an example:
  • Calendars – Whether on your phone, computer, or kitchen counter, keep track of your events! I don’t care if you have the best memory, write it down! Times change, venues change, and you’re bound to forget something sometime.
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