Being productive is part science, part art. And, that is no exception for the Admin team here at Salesforce! While we each work very differently, we like to share our tips with each other (and all of you) to help ensure that everyone is doing their best work. So, in the spirit of productivity, and our entire community doing their best work, here are our team’s favorite ways of being productive:
LeeAnne Rimel, Admin Evangelist:
Remove distractions and noise. Turn off notifications, turn on do not disturb, close out tabs, delete communication apps that are non-essential, unfollow or unsubscribe from streams/emails that are not adding value. Treat your time like the most valuable productivity tool you have and constantly audit what causes distractions throughout your day.
Approach each day and week with mindfulness. Look at your emails, projects, calendar and create your “to-do” list for that week. What are your goals for the week, what deliverables do you have? When your inbox is full everything can feel like an urgent priority, so it is helpful to revisit what is important to you, your team, and your organization and then focus on the areas that can deliver the most impact. At Salesforce we follow a process to define our goals ahead and this helps us align priorities throughout the year.
Gillian Bruce, Admin Evangelist:
Reporting keeps me accountable. I share a chatter post each week with what I’ve been working on — aka: chatter brag. They do two big things:
1) Lets the team know about opportunities to collaborate with me, and
2) Motivates me to stay on track and produce things worth sharing.
There have definitely been times when I see “chatter brag” come up in my calendar and I have a momentary freak-out because I haven’t finished a project or produced something I said I would. But, since I made time for myself to think about my weekly chatter brag, I then use that time to work on getting to a milestone worth sharing. Bonus: these posts also help build my brand across the company, which has really boosted my collaboration opportunities.
Mike Gerholdt, Admin Evangelist:
Step one is to turn off any social apps like Tweetdeck that could be distracting. Then I take any tabs or content I need, group them together, and move them to their own desktop. For example, if I’m writing a blog post I’ll take a tab for the post, release notes, etc. Move them all to a clean desktop and go there to work.
I’ll also block my calendar to allow for breaks, dog walks, and other to-do items. And finally, stickies on my Mac work really well for me. I have a bunch that are color coded and they keep my to-do lists, etc organized.
Marc Baizman, Admin Evangelist:
I am a big advocate of Inbox Zero. I try to keep my email as clean as possible with a religious use of folders/labels as well as a ton of automated filters to keep things out of the inbox pile. Two of my favorite labels are !Waiting On and !Action Required. !Waiting On is what it sounds like: I am waiting on someone else for this — and I check it once a day. If there is a date that I need an answer by, I may also label it with date and/or add a reminder on my calendar. !Action means I need to take some action which doesn’t depend on anyone else. I’ll put that in the “Do Stuff” folder, and then block time to work through that log of tasks and emails.
I also have an “All SFDC” folder for things that are company or division/department announcements, and a catch-all “Z_To Review” which is where all my mailing lists and general subscriptions go. This is a “look when I have time but nothing time-sensitive here” folder.
Becky DeLoryn, Admin & Community Marketing:
I live by checklists with real, live checkboxes. I have Quip checklists for everything I need to do on Admin Marketing and Trailblazer Community marketing. I create running, shared checklists for 1-1 meetings with my manager and teammates. That way, we can always see the punch list and refer back to topics and notes over time. Since I spend a lot of my days in meetings, I constantly prioritize my own lists and tackle the most important things during downtime. There’s nothing like checking those boxes when a task is complete!
Rachel Mincarelli, Admin Marketing:
Know yourself, and take the time to explore what works best for your work style and what does not. My go-to for productivity is putting pen to paper. I can’t get through my day without a notebook, sticky notes, and a great pen. If it’s important, I write it down. I know that with so much technology at our fingertips, this might sound like an inefficient method, but seeing goals or to-do items in your own handwriting is so powerful!
I also have a few different to-do list strategies that help me prioritize based on the day, and what my workload looks like. So, sometimes I go for a numbered list of priorities, and other times I use the Eisenhower Matrix. Occasionally, I’ll make a checklist. If I need something even more visual, I’ll group my ideas on sticky notes and rearrange them on a desk, wall, or whiteboard as I finish projects. Knowing myself and my work style means having multiple tools at the ready for me to do my best work each day.
Rebecca Saar, Admin Marketing:
I’m a planner. When I get a new project or we start to convert an idea into a project, my first instinct is to look at the calendar. From there I figure out the best time to launch the project and then build out a work-back schedule. So it’s not surprising that my calendar is my best friend! =
I love using my calendar to manage my time and projects effectively. That’s actually what led me to build a business app in Salesforce. I wanted a visual, date-driven tool to manage the production of content (whether that means blog posts, webinars, videos, or podcasts). My app allows me to see all the content in flight with its target publish date in one beautiful calendar. if it’s not in the app, it’s not getting published.
Moar Productivity Hacks
We’re exploring how Admins can increase and champion productivity. Take a listen to the Salesforce Admin podcast this month for ways to tackle this.
- podcast: Insight: Be More Productive by Doing Less
- podcast: Insight: Build Productivity into Your Apps
- podcast: Interview: How Ted Hazard Delivers Productivity with Lightning
- post: The Utility Bar: Your End User’s Best Friend
We’d love to hear from you! #AwesomeAdmins have awesome productivity hacks to get their work done and we want to hear ’em.