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The secret to checking items off the corporate to-do list? Decluttering, says Poo~Pourri CEO

June 24, 2021, 11:30 PM UTC

Suzy Batiz isn’t exactly the most conventional entrepreneur. The founder and CEO of Poo~Pourri and Supernatural has staved off plenty of adversity, including bankruptcy and an abusive marriage.

But her true success has been in the comeback and the lessons she’s learned about drowning out the background noise to streamline corporate success, as she outlined during an interview at Fortune’s MPW Next Gen 2021 virtual conference on Thursday. It boils down to one word: decluttering.

Batiz had taken a step back from her CEO role at Poo~Pourri but eventually returned. “When I came back and saw our physical offices, or the office space, no one had been in it for a year and a half. Because everybody just left and it looked like the apocalypse, like literally disarray everywhere,” she said. “And I was like, this is a physical representation of what I’ve been seeing inside our company.”

That led to a shakeup on multiple fronts: reorganizing and decorating the physical offices, ignoring the obsessive need to check and respond to every email (Batiz isn’t a big fan of email), and even following up with individual employees to figure out if they’re serving in a role where they can have the heaviest impact or could accomplish more with different tasks.

“So I’m doing this major reorganization, not because I want to shake things up but because I want more clarity and more communication,” she said during Thursday’s MPW Next Gen session. “And whenever you start clearing up that clutter, what happens is, there’s naturally more space that’s available, right?”

Batiz brings it back to email. That nagging feeling of not reading or replying to one, whether you like it or not, is an incomplete task that’s still rummaging around in your brain and taking up mental space that could be used to achieve something concrete.

“I’m really focused on completions,” she said. “Like, okay, if I haven’t looked at that email in a year, chances are, I don’t need it. It’s like going through your closet.”

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