The Curator’s Toolkit

Just a few minutes ago, I got the idea to write this post when I found myself standing in the middle of my room. I thought of Frank Ocean’s lyrics…a tornado flew around my room before you came, excuse the mess it made…only thing is, a tornado didn’t fly around my room, life just happened this week, and last week and the week before…life seems to always be happening and I never seem to be prepared for it. So I stood in the middle of my room looking at the piles of clothes both clean and dirty tossed every which way. I looked at the paper clutter turning my floor into a office paper wonderland, the tea mugs with dried up tea bags, the empty water bottles, the crumbled up receipts and stacks of books all over the place and for a brief moment anxiety almost crept in because the chaos that was happening in my room was a reflection of the chaos that’s been happening in my life.

Let me frame it for you. I worked hard and didn’t play much in 2017 because for most of 2017 I was “hustling” (sb: I hate the word hustling now…I prefer aligning but that’s another story for another post). I ended 2017 burnt the hell out and entered 2018 feeling the exact same way and promised myself I would do less this year and although I am doing less socially, I find myself doing more as an entrepreneur and it’s been insane. I hosted a Fundraising Mixer in January and the planning process was exhausting and I’ve been preparing our annual Summit and that too is exhausted. Then there’s a plethora events taking place between April and May and finally a book release in June which will kick off a summer tour. You might be wondering how do I even sleep especially with being a full time teacher in a city an hour away from the one I live in…but it seems all I can do is sleep which is why my room looks so unkempt. Through it all, I’ve learned that chaos doesn’t always have to get ugly. So here are the tools that have been making my life a little more manageable:

  1. Headspace

Whenever I’m having a Nam-myoho-renge-kyo moment, whether it’s my classroom having an out of control moment, or my inbox filling up with emails, or phone/texts piling up that I can’t get to at the moment, or my anxiety surfacing…I can take a break, open up this app right on my phone set how many minutes I need for guided meditation whether it’s 3 or 5 or 10minutes and clear my head so that my headspace doesn’t look how my room space currently looks. A mess. (Headspace, Website | Android | iPhone)

2. Passion Planner/ To-Do List

I’m a firm believer in writing things down. If I don’t, whatever it is might as well not exist because with a million things going on, I’m sure to forget something. I invested in a passion planner which allowed me to write out in broad and then specific details what I need to accomplish each month. I also invested in a pocket planner with daily to-do lists from clap clap designs and they have really helped me prioritize my time and decrease my anxiety. (Passion Planner, $30); (clap clap Pocket Planner, $16)

3. Google Calendar

Just as I need to write things down, I also need to put them into my schedule so that I’m not overbooking, or sitting trying to remember something I knew I was forgetting but couldn’t quite put my finger on it. My calendar is colored coded for all things Curate Your Life, all things kindergarten teacher, and all things writer. I even schedule social gatherings and fun.

4. GroupMe

I’m learning how to delegate more. I’m realizing there are people in my corner who seriously want to help. So I created a GroupMe so that I could add all of my volunteers to and even those who wish to collaborate on future workshops and events and things of that nature. It beats the stress of having my phone buzzing constantly. You can create a group for everything. Also the “mute” option is a Godsend. (GroupMe, Website | Android | iPhone)

These are just the essential things that have been keeping me afloat lately. What are organization essentials do you keep in your toolkit?