A clean slate can be described as a strategy for creating and building new habits. It involves deciding to start afresh on new habits, such as identifying and focusing on ways that would improve your overall productivity. Good examples of a workplace ‘clean slate’ include:
- Manager promotion
- Team reorganization
- Start of a new quarter
- Start of the year
There are many reasons why one would want to keep their physical and digital workspace organized. Keeping everything organized is particularly important especially if you deal with sensitive data, e.g., patient health information or financial data. It is the only best way to prevent accidental data breaches or loss.
In addition, a clean workspace goes a long way in preventing distraction and a negative state of mind, thus combating stress. According to research, a disorganized workspace can foster negativity and even impact productivity. A neat and organized workspace, however, spells calm and tranquility, making it easier for one to focus on their tasks and responsibilities.
Here are some of the ways you can keep your workspace organized.
1. Wipe Down And Tidy Your Workspace
If your work involves handling tons of scanned files, physical paperwork, or even working from a computer, it is easy for the workspace to get messy. Make a habit of wiping the computer screen, keyboard, mouse, desk, and other objects/tools on your desk first thing in the morning.
Be sure to empty the drawer of miscellaneous items every other day, take the coffee mug to the kitchen, and deep clean hard-to-reach areas as well. Also, you may divide your workspace with office screens where one side will be your main workspace, and the other will be allocated for your pieces of stuff. This screen will also help minimize the noise in your workspace. Make sure your workspace is as neat and clean as possible.
Pro Tip: Too many files on your desk can lead to procrastination. Make an effort to complete one task at a time to clear off the pile.
2. Create A Cloud Storage Filing System
How often do you back up your data? A crashed computer is the very last thing you’d want for your work and productivity. Regular data backups, especially to the cloud, is one of the best ways to keep your data safe.
You’d need a good cloud filing system to work efficiently. Take advantage of your desktop’s real estate to create shortcuts for files and quick file saves for easy access.
You could also enable the cloud filing system to automatically upload any files saved to the cloud and even establish permissions to appropriate team members for easy access. This way, your team won’t have to keep requesting access or updating the project status.
3. Strive For Inbox Zero
It is easy for one to lose track of important emails or even miss a few in the process. If you always have to sift through dozens or hundreds of emails every day, it might be wise to create time to attend to every Email in your inbox.
While it might seem impossible at first, it’s easy to get to inbox zero, but only if you strive to do so. Inbox zero doesn’t have to be mythical or seem unachievable.
Dedicating a fraction of your day to respond to emails, and even organizing them based on urgency, can go a long way in helping you achieve this. Consistency is the key to keeping your inbox clean and organized
Categorize emails based on importance and urgency. For example, archive all messages that don’t require your input or action. Next, respond to all emails that require an immediate but straightforward reply. Take care of all emails that can be responded to in less than a minute.
For emails that require actionable response and level of thought, snooze them to handle later. Most email providers, Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail, etc., support this feature, use it.
4. Keep Your CRM Organized
A well-organized CRM is as important as a clean inbox or workspace. Make an effort to keep it as neat and organized as possible. One way to do this is to find all contacts with missing (crucial) information, such as phone numbers or email addresses, then find it.
Delete the contact if you can seem to find such. Salesforce optimizer is a tool that one can use to gather actionable information across various fields, storage, dashboard, reports, and custom object layouts. This tool comes in handy, especially when you want to identify and understand problem areas quickly.
Pardot User Groups is another tool you can use to create and assign contacts and leas to sales representatives, and even assign product/service owners for responsible record keeping.
Although most CRM is automated and kept up to date, you need to keep a keen eye on these to ensure every process is working as it should. You especially need to ensure the CRM can communicate with marketing automation software to avoid creating data silos.
5. Ensure Everything Is Well Organized
In-person chats, Slack, Email, calls, and social media are some of the channels every other business uses for communication. Sometimes, a client/customer will start communication on one channel, then continue the same on another.
In such an instance, you need to ensure none of the conveyed messages is lost between other chats. See here a great time tracking tool. Make an effort to ensure everything is kept straight to allow team members to pick up where the conversation was. Integrating Google Sheets or sending form submissions directly to inbox or Slack would be an excellent idea too.