5 STEPS TO GET OUT OF A MESS
Recruiter Nicole Underwood reveals how to get organised
CLEAR THE INBOX
If you are overloaded with emails, start by getting rid of them. Drowning in emails usually marks the beginning of the downward spiral to disorganisation and feeling out of control. As a rule, my inbox will have only enough emails to take it to the preview line – let’s say 10 to 12. This will usually consist of new emails ready to be acted on or something I need to refer to that day for information. Everything else has either been completed or deleted.
2 RE-PRIORITISE AND RE-ORGANISE
Don’t get to the stage where you are in tears or a complete panic, unsure of where to start. Ensure your papers, trays, resumes, client files, emails and filing systems are organised. Do not let them build up across your workstation. If the situation is out of control, spend a couple of hours sorting through it and work out where it went wrong.
3 CLEAN YOUR SPACE
At the end of every day, clean the desk. This includes an empty inbox, files put away, work in trays. A clean and organised workspace has the benefit of helping you feel you’re on top of things, being clear about what needs to be done and not being distracted by mess. There are other obvious benefits, such as being able to find things easily, allowing the cleaners to do their job and keeping confidential information, especially client or personal details, safe.
Go back to basics with a daily to-do list on which every task or action is recorded. Avoid using sticky notes, which can get lost, and electronic reminders, which can be dismissed or minimised. This way there is a central point and you don’t need to rely on your memory. The inbox can be cleared when there is a central list. Your intray should match the list with anything that needs to be acted on and the rest should be filed and out of sight, creating a clear and organised workspace.
TAKE TIME OUT
When things just seem all too much, I am a big believer in getting up from your desk, taking a deep breath and getting some fresh air. A walk around the block, a trip to the shops or grabbing a coffee can seem a bit trivial but the time out can work wonders. Physically removing yourself from a situation that is causing stress or where you can’t think straight is an easy remedy to get some immediate time out. Take a notebook and pen with you, away from the chaos, to refresh and rewrite priorities.