Building connections can be a messy job. It’s very easy to bury yourself in emails and content if you aren’t keen on your organization skills. Maintaining your relationships while trying to develop new ones can be difficult if your workspace and mind is cluttered. In order to make your life easier and more efficient, try applying these four simple steps for better organization and time management.

1. Get Rid of the Excess

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that a clean work space is the first step of becoming organized. A disheveled desk can quickly lead to a disheveled mind. For some people, there’s a certain method to the madness of a cluttered office. Don’t feel guilty if your workspace isn’t as neat as the person next to you; if you have a system that works, use it! That being said, it’s still a good idea to take a few minutes each week to shuffle through your desk to see if you can get rid of anything unimportant.

2. Set Up Email Labels

Once you’ve organized your desk, it’s time to clean up your inbox. Keeping track of your emails can be very difficult, especially if you are sending out hundreds a month. In order to keep your emails more organized you should use email labels, making it easier for you to keep track of your clients and articles. With labels you can easily navigate through your email and find information quickly. It will be very hard for you to lose track of any emails if you utilize this tool. In reality, it’s okay to be a little messy, but when your clutter starts making you miss deadlines and fall behind, it’s time for an inbox intervention.

3. Create A To-Do List

You’ve organized your desk and you’ve organized your email, now it’s time to organize your mind. To-do lists are quick and easy ways to prioritize your day. When you get into work, make it a habit to write down your daily tasks, putting the most important responsibilities at the top, followed by the least important tasks. Another option is to create a to-do list before you leave at the end of the day. This way you can come in the next morning and know immediately what needs to get done. Making lists can greatly reduce your stress knowing that you haven’t forgotten anything important. If you prioritize intelligently, you’ll be able to focus more of your time on high value activities, which means you will be more productive and more valuable to you team.

4. Utilize Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets, everyone loves to hate them, but they are a necessity.  Keeping track of who you’ve contacted and who you need to contact is vital to your success as a connector. Your spreadsheet should include information like the title of the site, their contact info, date of outreach and the status. The information doesn’t have to be elaborate and drawn out, but should have just enough detail for you to understand. It will also help you when it comes time to follow up with the sites. You can easily go down the list, checking off which ones you’ve followed up with, making sure that you left no site left behind.

It is important to keep organized and practice time management so you do not get overwhelmed in almost any industry. Being organized can significantly help your workflow as well as provide you with mental clarification. Taking these four simple steps will get you on the right path to increased productivity and a zen approach to your workflow.