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tips on how to organise your work life, from someone that loves being organised

Kristy McPhillips

Posted on August 30 2019

Tips on how to organise your work life, from someone that loves being organised…….Sometimes I feel frequently overwhelmed, suffering from information overload which then turns into the worst case of procrastination. Feeling so overwhelmed can mean you don’t know how or where to start. Currently I am working almost full-time on a contract in the public service and managing Sash & Belle in my lunch hour, at night and on the weekends. I read books and google to find helpful tips on how to manage my work and business life and I thought I would share them with you as you may be feeling the same way.

Organise yourself.

Question: Are you working on the right things? You need to work out what is important first and not waste time on anything else. Here is how you can do it:

  1. Prepare a to do list – it’s an easy thing to do and it clears your mind because your work is written down and not cluttering your head. Plus ticking off those items is rewarding.
  2. Identify what is urgent v’s what is important
  3. Order tasks by estimated effort. If you have tasks that seem to tie for priority standing, work out how long you think they will take to complete, and start on whichever one you think will take the most effort to complete. However if you feel like you don’t have the brain power for that task, don’t procrastinate, start with a smaller task, it can be motivating to check a small task off the list before diving into a big task.
  4. Be flexible and adaptable. Other priorities will arise, you need to accept this and go with the flow. If you can’t decide what is the priority and you have a manager, ask them to prioritise, that is why they get paid the big bucks!

Organise your Desk

Don’t let the paper work pile up. Develop an organisation system that suits you. Don’t spend 10 minutes looking for that document or receipt, have a fail-safe organisation system.

Organise your Space

If you work in an office, generally it is a desk in a cubicle, you don’t have to accept it as it is, decorate it in a way that will inspire you. Plants, aspirational quotes, pictures, candles (you may not be able to burn them but they smell good even when not burnt). Think about what would work for you. If you prefer to work standing up, invest in a stand up desk. If an erasable whiteboard would help, get one. If you’re intrigued by the concept of Feng Shui, read up on it and apply those principles to your workspace.

You can be even more flexible and decorative when working from home – visit Pinterest for ideas and fun creating a beautiful work space.


Organise your incoming Information

Most email programs give you tools to manage your email and reduce clutter. The time spent using these tools can save you hours down the road.

Here are some tips I use:

New email alert pop ups can be very distracting, disable them in Outlook by going to: Options > Mail > disable “Display a Desktop Alert” option.

I love to create folders with titles that match my work responsibilities. Sort through your inbox and stow every message in the one that fits and don’t forget to archive old drafts or information you no longer need.

Your email and calendar can automatically apply colours to your emails and meetings based on pre-defined rules. For example, emails sent to you, when you are the only person on the “To” line, can be coloured red. To do that, simply choose: View > View Settings > Conditional Formatting (or Automatic Formatting). Note: Your calendar and email have separate set of rules, but they are accessed the same way.

One more time saving tip is to create a special CC folder to gather all the emails that aren’t sent directly to you; that way, the inbox is focused on only the most important emails. To set this up, go to Rules > Create Rule > Advanced Options button. In the Rules Wizard, select “where my name is not in the To box” and then in the next screen, “move it to the specified folder.” (Alternatively, set up a VIP email folder and move “emails sent only to me” into that special folder.)

and lastly but definitely not least – get yourself one of our work handbags to keep you organised at work and out at meetings. View our range of work handbags at


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