We tend to think that our colleagues consciously choose a chaotic way of working, or that they don’t want anything to do with structure in any form. But the opposite is often the case: People simply don’t know where to start.
The best strategy is not to force anything, but to share those things that help you when the time’s ripe. When your coworker asks for help with something, take the opportunity to say that you’ll have to check your calendar real quick: “I keep track of my own work there so I don’t overcommit.”
Or when someone asks if you’ve seen their email, you could say you’ll get back to them by the end of the day, but add: “I try to check email just 3 times a day, so I can focus on other things the rest of the time.”
You could consider sending out a short and personal this-is-how-I’m-getting-through-all-this
email. Taking the time to share what works for you can be just the thing a colleague needs to change their own situation for the better. Feel free to raid my archive