5 STEPS TO GET OUT OF A MESS

Re­cruiter Ni­cole Un­der­wood re­veals how to get or­gan­ised

The Advertiser - Careers - - Career Development -

1

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.

4

CEN­TRAL LIST

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.

5

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.

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