AdvanceCTFormerly the Connecticut Economic Resource Center (CERC) +1 (860) 571-7136

Top 5 Tools and Tips to Help You Stay Organized, On Time and On Budget – and NOT Overwhelmed

Posted on by Kristi Sullivan

  1. Utilize Outlook for Keeping Track of Appointments, Deadlines and To Dos
    Did you know that you can create a “calendar appointment” directly from an email in Outlook?  I use this all the time to make sure important emails that have actionable deadlines don’t get lost – but rather find a place on my calendar.  I also utilize the feature to make sure internal and external associates know when things are due.  And to keep track of events, I created a separate calendar that also houses the event information, registration details and online links directly in the appointment slot.


  2. Keep an Old-fashioned Calendar Handy for Planning (and use Pencil)
    I print off a blank monthly calendar that I find online for each month, and pencil in activity as needed – such as upcoming events, as well as dates for enews, blogs and podcasts, to keep our monthly communications activity in a visual format.  This means our marketing team can plan out promotional emails and social media posts in a timely fashion. And I keep it handy for Monday morning management meetings so I can easily reference upcoming activity and add upcoming activity.

  3. Review, File and Delete/Delete/Delete
    At least once a day, if not several times a week, I spend a few minutes reviewing recent emails and file what I can, tag ones that need action, and most importantly, delete anything and everything that doesn’t need to be kept or archived.  I also do this with papers and project folders – file papers in appropriate folders, archive folders that can be kept out of sight, and again, throw out anything that is outdated, especially if it has an electronic backup.

  4. Reprogram…. Your Mind
    Be aware that perfectionism is not only hard to achieve, it’s impossible!  So give yourself some slack if you aren’t perfectly organized – although you do want to be sure you have the right support, systems and structure in place to keep you on time and on budget.  Sometimes this means asking for help, delegating more, and perhaps the key ingredient: creating a different mindset that helps you change the habits that may be stumbling blocks to being organized… and accepting imperfection!

  5. And Breathe
    Think about setting a timer on your computer or phone so that you stop, get centered and breathe throughout the day.  Also make sure you get “down” time… time to shut off emails (and put away that addictive cell phone), time to disconnect from your corporate environment, and time to enjoy non-work related activity.  Our minds need space to step away from our overwhelmed and over-organized day, in order to for us to have the energy to stay organized when we’re plugged in!