An Organizational Fall Freshen-Up

September 12th 2016

As sights are set past the post Labor Day slump, with Summer Fridays by the wayside and Instagram feeds filled with back-to-school photos, it is a good time to reevaluate your professional systems and ensure you are working as smart and efficient as possible. You may not be getting a new lunchbox or Trapper Keeper, but it is still a nice time to buy a new notebook, invest in an amazing pen (this is my current obsession) or fun folders to keep you organized and excited about this time of year.

Over the years I have taken several organization classes, learned from some of the best and read a lot about how to work smarter. Here are a few of my favorites tips.

• Before you leave at the end of the day, list the 5 things that are the most crucial to get done the next day, and prioritize them. Start with number 1 and work your way down the list. Things are bound to pop up and maybe you will only get to three. If that is the case, move the remaining two to the top of your priority list for the next day.

• Don’t let email run your day – you will never get through a project.

• The search function works really well in Outlook, there is no reason to create 150 folders to save your emails in – moving emails into folders sucks too much valuable time. I save mine quarterly.

• Make sure you own your schedule, and allow for time to complete your list of 5 priorities. It is okay to say no/move meetings to work within your schedule.

• Watch the distractions – text messages, Gchat, social feeds – every distraction takes approximately 20 minutes to get back on track (that’s a lot of wasted time).

• Plan ahead and don’t procrastinate – it will keep you from operating in what Franklin Covey refers to as Quadrant 1: a state of total chaos where everything is urgent and has to get done in the next hour, which is stressful for you and your colleagues who feed off the energy.

• Break out projects into tasks on your to do list. This will help the project move forward instead of you looking at it and saying “I don’t have the time to get to this.”

• If you can get it done in 2 minutes or less, just do it, rather than taking the time to add it to your to-do list.

Happy organizing!


By Caroline Andrew
Caroline has been with Mfa for more than a decade, focusing on strategic counsel, key message development, and exceptional creation and implementation of tactical plans. Through her work at six Olympic Games, Caroline has transformed numerous athletes, sports and events into household names. She is adept at integrating social media into PR strategy and has consistently shown a unique ability to identify opportunities and successfully influence often hard-to-reach audiences, including Millennials. And, she’s already all-in on whatever the next wellness trend will be.

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