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Sanity Savers for a Stress Free Environment


  • Only check your emails twice a day – don’t respond each time you receive an email it wastes too much time!
  • Set up folders for your inbox so you can ‘electronically’ file your emails when you have completed them.
  • Set up rules within your email so messages are automatically filed for you to read later.
  • Use colour coding so you can quickly glance over your inbox and see which messages are important.
  • When you have read an email and actioned it – delete it.
  • Remove yourself from ezines or electronic newsletters you don’t read.
  • Set up spam filters on your email.
  • Create an email signature with your contact information so it automatically sends your details with your email.
  • Leave an ‘out of office’ message if you are away from your desk for more than 24 hours.

Phone Calls

  • Record a voicemail to notify callers you will call back within 24 hours.
  • If you are busy all day, change your voicemail message to let callers know you will call them back the next day.
  • Include your email address in your voicemail for all phones so people can email you instead of leaving a message.
  • Avoid calling businesses between 10 AM – 2 PM as people are in meetings or at lunch.
  • Turn off your mobile phone if you are working on an important project.
  • Divert your desk phone to your mobile if you leave the office to avoid checking two voicemail systems.
  • Use the lift as your guide for turning your mobile on and off. When you are getting into a lift for a meeting, turn your phone off. When you leave the meeting to return to the foyer – turn your mobile on. This avoids the embarrassment of your phone ringing in an important meeting.
  • Filing
  • If you hate filing, allocate 15 minutes to do your filing every Friday afternoon. Whatever is left over can wait until the following Friday.
  • Label the outside of filing cabinets for quick reference.
  • File your manila folders in drawer alphabetically to help you find things quickly.
  • Use a label maker to keep your files tidy and easy to read.
  • Use coloured manila folders for different projects i.e. blue for staff, purple for projects, pink for personal etc.
  • Desk Management
  • Get rid of your in-tray – it is a holding area for paper. If you have to have one, put it out of your line of sight so you don’t get distracted looking at it all day.
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  • Remove all unnecessary files and paper off your desk to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
  • Keep your desk clear so you can focus on the task in front of you.
  • Reading
  • Create a reading file and every journal and ‘FYI’ document you receive, pop in the file and read once a week.
  • If you catch public transport to work carry your reading file with you so you can maximise your travel time.
  • General
  • Get a cleaner for your house – pay someone else so you can enjoy your weekends.
  • Use couriers for odd jobs instead of spending your time driving and parking.
  • Order groceries and fruit online and have them delivered.
  • Stick a ‘No Junk Mail’ sign on your letterbox to avoid rubbish.
  • Open your mail over a bin so you can toss what you don’t need
  • Read your mail with a pen and make note on each document what action is required.
  • Pay your bills online to avoid cues and wasting your lunch times.