There is a strategy for building new habits known as the Clean Slate. With this strategy, you can use a fresh start as an opportunity to build new habits. In the workplace, examples of a “clean slate” might include:
- Team reorganization
- Manager promotion
- Start of a new quarter
- Beginning of the year
There are a few key reasons you should be keeping your physical and your digital workspace organized. Firstly, if you deal with any sensitive data, such as financial or patient health information, keeping your documents organized is a key way to prevent accidental data loss or breaches. Secondly, a clean workspace is a known stress reliever. Studies have shown that a messy environment promotes distraction and can foster a negative state of mind. Thirdly, a clean space helps you stay productive and remember important tasks.
Here are a handful of productivity tips to help you create an organized workspace.
1. Tidy and wipe down your physical space.
If you’re still dealing with physical paperwork, scan files into your computer to be saved in the cloud or create a filing system at your desk. Wipe down your desk, keyboard, and computer screen. Take yesterday’s coffee mug back to the kitchen. Empty out the drawer where you’ve been collecting miscellaneous items, and give everything a proper home. After a deep clean, you’ll work harder to keep your space tidy.
Productivity Tip: If you’re experiencing stress or overwhelm about a project or task and it’s causing you to procrastinate, clearing off your desk can help. Completing this small task will provide a sense of accomplishment and help you get started.
2. Create a filing system for your cloud storage tool.
If your computer crashed today and you could not access your desktop, how much work would you lose? Your desktop is a great place for application shortcuts and quick file saves, but don’t abuse it.
Take files from your desktop and upload them to the cloud. Now, you won’t have team members asking you to repeatedly share the same file. Once your files are in the cloud, you can establish access permissions so your team has access to the information they need and your files are stored safely.
3. Get to inbox zero.
How often do you lose track of emails and only remember to follow up several days later? If you find yourself frequently experiencing this problem, you probably need to readjust how you think about and work with your email inbox.
We’ve all heard of the mythical land that is inbox zero. Inbox zero may seem like a completely unachievable goal. But, for some of us, it’s a very real place. Now, this is a much larger topic that deserves its own discussion, but here are a few easy, actionable habits to help you consistently reach inbox zero:
- For messages that require no action from you, immediately archive.
- For messages that require a simple reply that you can complete in one minute or less, respond immediately—and then archive.
- For messages that require some level of thought or response that you can’t get to right away, snooze it. Snooze is a feature supported by major email providers like Apple Mail, Gmail, and Outlook. It lets you set a time and date when you will be able to return to an email. This way you’re not constantly distracted by a mountain of emails, and when you’re ready for it, it will reappear and grab your attention.
4. Clean up your CRM.
Here at Formstack, we’re constantly talking about ways to keep your CRM organized. We even created a checklist to help you declutter and keep your Salesforce org tidy. For more in-depth tips and strategies, check out the webinar Spring Cleaning Your Salesforce Org. Here are a few quick tips to get you started:
- Find contacts with no email address or phone number, make an effort to find that information, and delete the contact if you can’t.
- Use the Salesforce Optimizer to gather metrics across many areas, such as storage, fields, custom layouts for objects, reports, and dashboards. This will help you identify problem areas and fully understand how your Salesforce org works.
- Set up Pardot User Groups to easily assign leads and contacts to your sales reps and assign product owners to ensure responsibility for records moving forward.
Obviously, you want to make sure your CRM is housing the most accurate, up-to-date information so it can support your sales team as they follow up with leads and close deals. But if you’re using a marketing automation software that doesn’t communicate with your CRM, you may be unintentionally creating data silos across your organization.
Data silos are a major hindrance to the overall productivity of your organization because they limit any single team’s ability to gather a complete picture of marketing and sales data. Consider adding a tool like Formstack Sync to bi-directionally share data between your marketing automation software and your CRM. This way, both systems will house accurate data.
5. Keep things organized
Nowadays, we get information through a lot of different channels. Email, Slack, and in-person chats are just a few of the ways team members can request work from members of your team.
If you or your team are having trouble keeping things straight, try implementing a request form. You can organize requests by integrating with Google Sheets or sending form submissions directly to Slack or your email inbox.