It’s officially winter! The slow and steady driving, gusts of wind and SNOW. I’m not complaining, though. I love how pretty the trees look and who doesn’t love building a snowman?  With winter here, the holidays are just around the corner.

This week, I wanted to share my 3 tips for staying organized, because the chaos of work and holiday festivities can leave you swamped. Why take advice from me? I am a self-professed lover of organization and I don’t go a night without leaving my desk in perfect shape (ask anyone here at AKHIA).

  1. The three-touch rule. No, I didn’t make it up nor do I know who did, (I’m jealous, I didn’t think of it first) but it is genius. The rule states that you should not touch a paper more than three times—sounds dramatic, I know. However, it works. You should touch a paper once when you first receive or compose it. The second time, when you’re working on it, and a third time to file it away or discard it. Try it for a day and see if it works for you.You may have to adjust, but using this as a base will help keep your desk clear and everything in its right place.                                                      
  2. FOLDERS.  I’m not talking just the physical ones (mainly because I believe in color coding)—I’m talking email folders too. I have a folder for incoming projects that serves as my online to-do list. Then, once those projects are finished, I file them away into a folder pertaining to that specific project. I also keep a folder for follow-ups. I suggest still keeping a general inbox for all your emails to filter into, because let’s be real, sometimes your email gets backed up and it is nice to have everything in one place. Again, what works for me may not work for you, but finding a way to organize your email helps organize your thoughts, allowing for maximum productivity and no more lost emails.
  3. 15/15 Turbo Time. There are variations of this, but my personal favorite is this method:  fifteen minutes in the beginning and end of your day to organize your desk and your thoughts. Personally, when I arrive at work, I see what needs added to the list and organize any mail, physical or cyber, so I’m not starting the day with a pile on my desk or in my inbox. Then at the end of the day, I tidy up my desk and make my to-do list for the following day. Starting and ending your day with these simple tasks will help you stay focused and productive.

Keeping organized during busy seasons may seem like another task to add to your to-do list, but will actually end up saving you time in the long run. It’s all about what works for you—find your own personal organizational style, and you’ll breeze through the holiday season with much less stress and much more work accomplished!

What are your best organizational tips?