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3 min read

What Does Your Desktop Screen Say About Your Productivity?

‘The desktop metaphor was invented because one, you were a stand-alone device, and two, you had to manage your own storage. That’s a very big thing in a desktop world. And that may go away. You may not have to manage your own storage. You may not store much before too long.’ - Steve Jobs


If your desktop screen is crying out for some TLC, then you’ve probably fallen into the trap of depositing ten-too-many screenshots right on top of an already haphazardly cluttered pile of files, folders, apps and images. In fact, your computer desktop may even be messier than your actual desk or workstation – ironic when you consider the brains behind the ‘desktop metaphor.’


Office life and desk upon desk filled with papers, folders and agendas has always posed a headache when disorganised. You may even remember the days of a good scattering of colourful post-it notes to spruce things up a bit too (not to mention add to the mayhem!) The metaphor to collate the chaos and literally bring everything together, therefore, made the computer desktop a welcome revolution and a way to systematically store data.


Even those who still prefer a pen and paper are undoubtedly also hooked up to digital calendars and company software just the same – there’s no getting away from it: we’d be lost without the desktop (thankfully one that we can take anywhere without actually being chained to the furniture!)


Go on – count those icons… 


We’re most probably all guilty of saving surplus junk on our devices and not managing storage issues often enough. Beyond desktop saturation, we may even be losing track of how much data is stored remotely in clouds or other external memory. What’s for sure is that too many icons, including many unused imposters, make us dizzy and distract attention when looking at the screen. The temptation to just ‘drop it there for now’ is often more favourable than the laborious task of finding the right file or folder to house the new addition – alas, another icon appears amongst the jumbled minefield of desktop decoration!


To be honest, the real problem here is greater than the need to boast the perfect desktop layout, but moreover one that echoes a stronger necessity to work from an environment conducive to productivity. If it’s going to take us ages to find what we’re looking for whilst sifting through hundreds of screenshots or notes, then this is clearly synonymous with a mammoth waste of time. In a dynamic world where efficiency can make or break progress, close deals and keep you ahead of the competition, then going back to basics and working with a clear mind and ‘desk’ is the perfect place to start.


My company is crying out for a tidy up – how can we get organised?


Looking at the bigger picture, with the messy desktop as a mere symbol of disorder and inactivity, when a business model is shambolic at the root, then company layers may collapse rather than evolve. Furthermore, if leadership can’t keep track of what’s going on, then how can we expect employees at different levels to maintain standards and achieve goals? Therefore, the integration of software which takes the nitty-gritty and monotony out of administrative and data collection tasks, certainly sounds appealing. 


Believe it or not, the tools exist to take the stress and mess out of any equation. Taking last week’s blog as an example, direct sellers who thrive on organisation, clear targets and accessible communication channels, will always welcome modern advancements in real-time data tracking - not only to keep them on their toes, but also to showcase their achievements in clear view. Managers gain both control and speed from applications which literally bring everything under one umbrella, without the need to cross-reference various sources, emails, spreadsheets or masses of screenshots.


Regardless of business model type, for instance network marketing involving huge numbers of associates, or party plan scenarios hosted by individual promoters, all areas of direct selling benefit from a one-stop shop of data collection and actionable insights. When a specific workforce unites with consultants to use shared tools, then KPI’s, sales outcomes and indeed all activities take on a new stance as swift, ultrapractical components which ensure the smooth functionality of an enterprise. 


Summary – Keep it simple (and tidy!) 


Steve Jobs’ vision,  ‘You may not store much before too long,’ could be perceived as a welcome reminder that quality always trumps quantity. Refining resources and exposing workable, useful data which provides valuable insights, as opposed to unnecessarily clogging up memory and slowing down less efficient applications, is key to ensuring effective productivity. 


It’s as simple as: storing what you actually need in an easy-to-use format. 


Finally, where the computer desktop is symbolic of a physical desk, a combined performance management app echoes the attributes of a resourceful human, but with extra super powers!

More on sales performance management tools next week - see you then.

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